On the day of January expiry, there was a sell-off in the Indian stock market again. After showing a negative opening on Wednesday, the market remained in the red zone throughout the day and finally closed with a loss of over one per cent. The BSE Sensex was down 773.69 points at 60,205.06 while the Nifty was down 226.35 points at 17,891.95. The breadth was negative due to widespread selling in large-caps. Out of 50 counters comprising the Nifty, 40 counters showed a negative close. While only 10 counters were found positive. The same situation prevailed in the broad market as well. Of the 3,646 counters trading on the BSE, 2,396 saw negative closes. While 1,120 counters showed improvement from the previous close. 113 counters registered a yearly high. While the 109 counter was seen at a 52-week low. Volatility index India VIX up 7.25 percent 14.

Mathali expiry is generally observed on the last Thursday of the month. However, due to the Republic Day holiday on January 26, it ended on Wednesday. Whereas the market was completely occupied by Mediwals. The Nifty wobbled after opening at 18,099.35 against its previous close of 18,118.30, made a high of 18,100.60 and a low of 17,846.15 and remained range-bound for the rest of the session. Nifty futures closed at 80.80, down 17.9 points against Nifty cash. While February futures were seen closing at 17,988.70 with a premium of around 98 points. According to technical analysts, the undertone in the market has turned soft and hence further downside is likely in the coming days. 17,800 level will prove to be an important support for the Nifty. If it breaks, free fall can be observed. It made a comeback from the low of 17,761 this month.

However, it failed to move above 18,200 levels. The January series was a two-sided affair. Nifty has shown a negative return of 1.64 per cent in the series. Thus the calendar has started with negative returns. This shows that this year may be difficult for the Bulls. Major counters that supported the Nifty on Wednesday included Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, HUL, Tata Steel and Hero MotoCorp. On the other hand, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Cipla, HDFC, Axis Bank, Apollo Hospitals, Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement declined. Major counters that supported the Nifty on Wednesday included Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, HUL, Tata Steel and Hero MotoCorp. On the other hand, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Cipla, HDFC, Axis Bank, Apollo Hospitals, Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement declined. Major counters that supported the Nifty on Wednesday included Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, HUL, Tata Steel and Hero MotoCorp. On the other hand, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Cipla, HDFC, Axis Bank, Apollo Hospitals, Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement declined.

Talking about sectoral performance, all the sectors were showing negative returns. However, banking, pharma and energy indices were pointing to a downside in the range of 2-3 per cent. The Nifty Bank index fell 2.54 percent to below 42 thousand. The highest contributors were IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda, SBI, PNB, IDFC First Bank, AU Small Finance Bank, HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank. The Nifty Energy index declined by 2 per cent. The top contributors were Adani Green Energy, Tata Power, Reliance Industries, GAIL and IOC. Only ONGC was showing positive closure. The Nifty Pharma index declined by 1.22 per cent. Aurobindo Pharma was the leading decliner with 4.7 per cent. The company’s stock is trading at its lowest level in more than two years. Apart from this, decline was also seen in Biocon, Cipla, Zydus Life, Torrent Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Lupine and Divis Labs. The Nifty Realty index also declined by 2 per cent. While DLF remained at the forefront with 3.5 per cent. Sunteck Realty, Sobha, Oberoi Realty, Brigade Enterprises, Indiabulls Realty, Godrej Properties, Hemisphere and Prestige Estate also declined. Nifty IT declined by one per cent. Meanwhile, L&T Technology declined 3.4 per cent. These include Mphasis, Tech Mahindra, LTIMindtree, HCL Tech, Wipro, Coforge, Inphasis. Looking at the NSE derivatives segment, many counters were showing strong gains on the back of good results. Meanwhile, TVS Motor gained 5.5 per cent. Apart from this, improvement was also seen in Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, HUL, Bajaj Auto, Trent. On the other hand, Ambuja Cements declined by 8 per cent. Besides Indus Towers, ACC, Granules India, Adani Ports, United Spirits, Delta Corp, Bank Of Baroda, CONCOR, Canara Bank etc declined sharply. Bluechips lacked counters that make annual tops.