Weak global cues and disappointing wholesale price inflation data ensured a lacklustre trading on Wednesday, with the benchmark BSE Sensex ending with a gain of about 19 points at 28,372. The NSE Nifty closed at 8,727, up 11 points. Two Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) firms — Reliance Communications and Reliance Capital — hogged the limelight on an otherwise muted day of trading.
The day was marked by the Central government releasing data for August wholesale price index (WPI) inflation, which rose to a two-year-high of 3.74 percent from as against 3.55 percent in the preceding month. It came days after retail inflation slowed down to 5.05 percent for last month from 6.07 percent in July.
Top Sensex losers were Coal India,TCS, ONGC and Hindustan Unilever, while index stocks that bucked the trend included Adani Ports, State Bank of India and Hero Motocorp. Coal India dropped 1.97 percent to close at Rs. 324.20 in response to fall in net profit and sales for the first quarter ended June 30, 2016.
ADAG company Reliance Communications gained 2.72 percent to close at Rs. 51.05 on the BSE. The company announced merger of its wireless business with rival Aircel, which is likely to create an entity with assets of over Rs. 65,000 crore, Reliance Communications said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges.
The news comes even as Anil Ambani's brother Mukesh Ambani announced of its grand foray into mobile telephony in India by formally launching Reliance Jio from Sept. 5. Reliance Jio Infocomm is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited.
Earlier, Reliance Capital announced hiving off its home loan business into a separate entity and list it on the stock exchanges.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs. 477.33 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional data released by the National Stock Exchange.