Samvat 2071 worst in four years for key Indian equity index (Intro-Roundup)

Mumbai, Nov 10 (IANS) Samvat 2071 proved to be the worst in four years for a key Indian equities index, which shed over 1,100 points or 4.13 percent in the Diwali-to-Diwali Hindu fiscal which drew to a close on Tuesday.

For the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the Hindu fiscal year Samvat 2071 started at the level of 26,851.05 points — that is the closing level at the end of the special trading session of Diwali last year, on October 23.

The barometer index ended on Tuesday at 25,743.26 points, with a loss of 1,107.79 points, or 4.13 percent, when compared with October 23, 2014, closing. This despite scaling an all-time high during the 383-day journey.

The previous three Hindu fiscal Samvats ended on a positive note, with the index gaining 26.42 percent in 2014, 14.07 percent in 2013 and 7.69 percent in 2012.

It was during a year before that – in 2012 – that the Sensex took a major hit, down 17.69 percent. The previous close in the negative was the 52.36 percent fall in 2008.

The other bellwether index — 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) — ended the Samvat under review down 231.2 points or 2.97 percent lower at 7,783.35 points from its October 23 closing of 8,014.55 points.

Major Sensex gainers during the Samvat under review were Maruti Suzuki, up 32.89 percent at Rs.4,715.40; Lupin, up 22.28 percent at Rs.1,790.55; HDFC Bank, up 14.97 percent at Rs.1,054.35; Infosys, up 14 percent at Rs.1,106.4; and HDFC, up 12.15 percent at Rs.1,174.45.

The major Sensex losers were Vedanta, down 176 percent at Rs.90.2; Tata Steel, down 110.60 percent at Rs.217.95; Hindalco Industries, down 87.98 percent at Rs.79.45; Gail, down 70.99 percent at Rs.281.15; and ONGC, down 70.29 percent at Rs.236.95.

Analysts said that high expectations, the government’s inability to push key reforms and global market turmoil such as the Greece crisis, slowing Chinese economy and an impending US rate hike dented investors’ confidence.

“The market expectations were very high after the last year’s exponential rise, formation of a single party government at the centre and its reforms agenda,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“The upward trend since last Diwali was not sustained beyond March 2015, as political developments, slower pace of reforms and disappointing results eroded investors confidence.”

Sector-wise, during the Samvat under review the defensive stocks relatively outperformed with investors preferring pharma (+11 percent) and IT (+4 percent) stocks.

Media stocks made gains by more than eight percent. They saw buying interest which was partly fuelled by expected gains from the second phase of digitisation.

“The biggest loser was the metals sector (-41 percent) which continued to languish following the sharp decline in commodity prices and further accentuated by sluggish demand,” Nitasha Shankar, vice president for research with YES Securities, told IANS.

“Leveraged balance sheets and sluggish execution led infra stocks to close the year in the negative too (-15 percent). Energy too under performed with losses of 16 percent during the year.”

On Tuesday, short coverings on the back of negative cues following the BJP’s rout in the Bihar assembly elections, heightened chances of a US rate hike and disappointing quarterly results, subdued investor sentiment.

This led the S&P BSE Sensex to close the day’s trade on Tuesday down 392 points or 1.50 percent.

Besides the Sensex, the 50-scrip Nifty too ended the day’s trade lower. It was down 131.85 points or 1.67 percent lower at 7,783.35 points.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened 26,094.09 points, closed at 25,743.26 points — down 378.14 points or 1.45 percent from the previous day’s close at 26,121.40 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 26,094.09 points and a low of 25,709.23 points during the intra-day trade.

Vaibhav Agrawal, vice president, research, Angel Broking, told IANS that the Indian markets were impacted by weak Chinese inflation data for October and increased probability of a US rate hike.

“US markets posted their sharpest decline in six weeks, losing for the fourth consecutive session yesterday. Chinese trade data also showed weakness resulting in a sharp decline in metal and oil stocks,” Agrawal said.

Sector-wise during the day’s trade, the S&P BSE Healthcare index plunged by 423.92 points, oil and gas index receded by 343.40 points and banking index plummetted by 206.27 points.

The S&P BSE automobile index gained by 19.03 points.

Major Sensex gainers during Tuesday’s trade were Bajaj Auto, up 1.83 percent at Rs.2,453.20; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.68 percent at Rs.4,715.40; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.49 percent at Rs.2,657.40; Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), up 1.13 percent at Rs.1,262; and Axis Bank, up 0.76 percent at Rs.468.50.

The major Sensex losers were ONGC, down 4.90 percent at Rs.236.95; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 4.80 percent at Rs.3,336.30; Reliance Industries, down 3.96 percent at Rs.921.95; Lupin, down 3.92 percent at Rs.1,790.55; and Coal India, down 3.76 percent at Rs.326.40.

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