Mumbai, July 18 (IANS) Domestic political uncertainty in the wake of a no-confidence motion against the central government dragged the equity indices lower on Wednesday.
Additionally, market observers said that profit booking in mid-and-small-cap stocks and heavy selling pressure in metals, automobile and banking counters also subdued the equity indices.
Index-wise, the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,980.45 points — lower by 27.60 points or 0.25 per cent — from its previous close.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at 36,722.41 points, closed at 36,373.44 points — lower by 146.52 points or 0.40 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 36,519.96 points.
The barometer index fell after it touched a fresh all-time high of 36,747.87 points. The index had dipped to a low of 36,320.92 points during the intra-day trade.
On Tuesday — the previous trade session — both the indices had made gains on the back of a slide in global crude oil prices along with expectations of fund infusion into public sector banks.
“Markets ended lower on Wednesday losing the early morning gains. This
partly erased the gains seen on Tuesday,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
“News that the opposition parties tabled a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government impacted sentiments.”
According to Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair: “Mid-and- small-cap faced selling pressure due to profit booking after yesterday’s rally while metal index was seen underperforming.”
“Market participants are likely to stay on the sidelines as the no-confidence motion will be taken up on Friday.”
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 17 paise to end at 68.63 per dollar, against the previous close of 68.46 per greenback.
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth just Rs 95.68 crore and the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 111.01 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index was the top gainer with a rise of 152.48 points.
On the contrary, the S&P BSE metal index declined by 381.71 points.
The major gainers on the Sensex were ONGC, up 2.69 per cent at Rs 160.30; Asian Paints, up 0.98 per cent at Rs 1,391.40; HDFC, up 0.91 per cent at Rs 2,008.25; Yes Bank, up 0.80 per cent at Rs 383.80; and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.63 per cent at Rs 3,501.50 per share.
The top losers were Tata Steel, down 5.22 per cent at Rs 504.70; Tata Motors DVR, down 3.90 per cent at Rs 137.95; Vedanta, down 3.02 per cent at Rs 203.80; Axis Bank, down 2.57 per cent at Rs 524.20; and Hindustan Unilever, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 1,643.80 per share.