Sensex down 112 points; bank stocks fall

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Investor anxiety over the progress of the monsoon, a likely troubled parliament session and the upcoming monetary policy review dampened sentiments in the Indian equity markets with a barometer index plunging 112 points during late-afternoon trade on Monday.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) fell 111.56 points or 0.39 percent during the session under review.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also edged down after opening higher. It was trading 27.70 points or 0.32 percent down at 8,582.15 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,544.28 points, was trading at 28,351.75 points (2.00 p.m.), down 111.56 points or 0.36 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,463.31 points.

The Sensex so far touched a high of 28,549.13 points and a low of 28,319.83 points in the intra-day trade.

“The markets were reeling under anxiety about the progress of the monsoon, the parliament session which will have key bills like goods and services tax (GST) and land bill coming up for discussion,” Anand James, co-head, technical reaseacrh head, Geojit BNP Paribas, told IANS.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), monsoon so far has been six percent below its long-term average. However, IMD has given an optimistic forecast of better performance during the early August.

Monsoon rains are important for the agriculture sector which is a major sector of the Indian economy.

As a large part of the arable land is rain-fed, not only does a variation in rainfall affect crop production but also rural incomes and inflation.

Even the upcoming monetary policy review which will decide any cut in key lending rates will be based on the progress of the monsoon and prevailing data points, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.

James said investors were also nervous about the upcoming futures and options (F&O) expiry on July 30 and the RBI’s monetary policy review which will be conducted on August 4.

“On the other hand, OPEC’s (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) decision to advance its December meeting to discuss the future of oil prices in the backdrop of Iran increasing its exports after the nuclear deal is also causing concern,” James added.

Sector-wise, banking, capital goods, metal, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and realty stocks came under selling pressure. However, consumer durables, healthcare and oil and gas were trading higher.

The S&P BSE bank index plunged 211.45 points, capital goods index lost 58.05 points, metal index fell by 36.67 points, FMCG index was lower by 22.42 points and realty index was down 17.66 points.

The BSE S&P consumer durables index was higher by 51.06 points, healthcare index gained 46.17 points and the oil and gas index rose by 20.93 points.

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