Global cues down stock market; market rewards Persistent Systems

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By S Jha

New Delhi, January 19: The stock market ended lower on Thursday, with indices staying subdued while tracking cues from the US equity markets. With Dow Jones down by almost four per cent in the last few session, the Indian indices remained under pressure even while there were signs of fund houses buying into the Indian equities.

The foreign institutional investors for one more day this month bought into the Indian equities, pumping a net of Rs 400 crores on Thursday. Their domestic counterparts, however, marginally sold into the markets, with a net sell of Rs 127 crores. With Thursday being the day of weekly expiry for the options of the indices, the market remained range bound with negative bias. Nifty remained above 18100 level, while Bank Nifty showed strength in the first half of the day with the HDFC Bank carrying forward its momentum journey, which it had picked up a few sessions ago in tandem with HDFC. On Thursday, HDFC Life also seemed gaining strength after having been bearish for a few days. SBI Life, which has been strong for a few days, further gained on Thursday.

Star of the day was the Pune-based Persistent Systems, which had announced its quarterly result on Wednesday after the market hour. The market participants keeping close eyes on the Pune-based IT major were of the view that it gave one of its best performance, gaining on all fronts, which was richly rewarded by the market, as it gained over seven per cent. Persistent Systems is known to be a slow and steady gainer, but it spurted on Thursday. It is still below its one month high, and thus it has not yet broken out from the trading range in which it has been swinging for a few months.

Asian Paints was severely punished for disappointing the street, as it declared the quarterly result during the market hour. The scrip was down by over two per cent and it even breached the level of Rs 2860 during the day. Asian Paints has been among the bearish stocks for several months, as it has come under pressure on account of the high crude oil prices. Its peers also tanked on Thursday.

Advance decline ration favoured bearish bets in the market, as Dow Jones tanked in the opening trade on Thursday, tracking the jobless data in the US.

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