Karnataka politics, oil prices depress equity market (Roundup)

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Mumbai, May 21 (IANS) The formation of a non-BJP government in Karnataka, along with weakness in global indices and rising crude oil prices, pulled the key Indian equity indices to close in the negative territory for the fifth consecutive session on Monday.

According to market observers, a weak rupee against the US dollar also dampened the sentiments.

After opening on a flat note, the key indices rose during the early trade session but were unable to hold on to the gains for long.

Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,516.70 points, down 79.70 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous close of 10,596.40 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled in the red. It had opened at 34,873.16 points, closed at 34,616.13 points — down 232.17 points or 0.67 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 34,848.30 points.

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The Sensex touched a high of 34,973.95 and a low of 34,593.82 points.

Broader markets like the S&P BSE mid-cap index ended 1.64 per cent lower, while S&P BSE small-cap plunged 2.2 per cent. The overall BSE market breadth was bearish with 2,003 declines against 653 advances.

“Sentiments were weak due to the political situation in Karnataka. Private banks, realty and pharma stocks came under selling pressure,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 12 paise against the US dollar to 68.13, from its previous close at 68.01 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 166.15 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 149.58 crore.

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Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT, oil and gas and Teck (Technology, Media and Entertainment) indices posted marginal gains, up by only 18.77 points, 13.74 points and 4.72 points respectively.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE auto index fell the most, by 467.06 points, followed by the consumer durables index, which slumped by 445.98 points and the healthcare index that fell by 331.91 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.47 per cent at Rs 245.10; Tata Consultancy Services, up 1.59 per cent at Rs 3,557.95; Coal India, up 1.26 per cent at Rs 269.75; ICICI Bank, up 1.1 per cent at Rs 289.65; and ONGC, up 0.43 per cent at Rs 185.85 per share.

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The top losers were Sun Pharma, down 4.50 per cent at Rs 443.80; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 4.23 per cent at Rs 1,894.35; Yes Bank, down 3.27 per cent at Rs 334.15; Tata Motors, down 2.85 per cent at Rs 296.55; and Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.69 per cent at Rs 175.45 per share.

–IANS

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