Shares took a breather on Thursday after surging more than three per cent this week, as banking shares weighed, while troubled telecom operator Vodafone Idea tumbled 24 per cent after its non-executive chairman stepped down.
By 1:25 pm, the blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was marginally up by 0.45 per cent to 16,332.50 and the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.51 per cent to 54,647.26.
The Nifty Bank index, which rose over 2.3 per cent in the previous session, declined 0.6 per cent, while the public sector banking index dropped 2.4 per cent.
“The market has moved up quite a bit this week and may pause a little. But, it still remains a buy-on-dips market … There is a lot of liquidity and one needs to remain cautious as a lot of initial public offerings (IPOs) are coming,” said Samrat Dasgupta, CEO of Esquire Capital Investment Advisors in Mumbai.
This week’s rally has been narrow and limited to some large-cap stocks, unlike previous ones, and that is all the more reason to be more cautious, Dasgupta also said.
Vodafone Idea slid after billionaire industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, who engineered the merger https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vodafone-india-idea-cellular-idUSKCN1LG0LU of the India operations of Idea Cellular and Britain’s Vodafone Plc, stepped down as the company’s non-executive chairman on Wednesday.
Shares of the telecom operator, down nearly 44% this week, hit their lowest since May 15, 2020 to 4.55 rupees. Its major rival Bharti Airtel Ltd climbed 2.9%.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida — a major architect of the U.S. central bank’s new policy strategy — said in an overnight speech that he felt the conditions for raising rates could be met by the end of 2022.
The speech comes at a time Indian markets are closely watching the country’s central bank policy outcome on Friday for cues on liquidity even as it is mostly expected to be stay put on rates.