Sensex down 144 points, IT stocks plunge

Mumbai, Oct 13 (IANS) Caution over the ongoing results season and weak global cues coupled with reduced chances of a lending rate cut depressed investors leading to a barometer index of the Indian equity markets plunging by 144 points or 0.54 percent during post-noon trade on Tuesday.

Both the Indian bellwether indices opened lower due to negative import-export data coming out of China. Even the healthy domestic macro data points released a day earlier were not able to arrest the slide.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading in the negative territory. It was lower by 42.10 points or 0.52 percent at 8,101.50 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (S&P Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 26,874.29 points, was trading at 26,760.14 points (at 1.45 p.m.) — 143.97 points or 0.54 percent down from its previous close at 26,904.11 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 26,918.52 points and a low of 26,743.47 points during the intra-day trade.

The barometer index closed on Monday with a loss of 175 points or 0.65 percent.

Analysts pointed out that investors were reluctant to chase higher prices due to the uncertainty over the second quarter results which, they fear, might turn out to be below expectations due to currency fluctuations and slowing demand scenario.

“The negative Chinese markets due to sliding import-export data had an initial impact on the Indian indices. The investors were seen reluctant to chase prices as caution grew over the ongoing results season,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Other factor that dampened sentiments were speculations that the country’s central bank might not ease monetary policy in the remaining part of the calendar year due to the latest factory out and inflation data points which were released on Monday,” James said.

Nitasha Shankar, vice president, research with YES Securities, told IANS: “Benchmark index Nifty continued to consolidate at the lower end of the trading range amid thin volumes suggesting lack of participation.”

“Broader markets marginally outperformed the headline index. Metal stocks are witnessing profit booking following a sharp rally. IT stocks maintain their weakness ahead of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) results.”

Sector-wise, information technology (IT), technology, entertainment and media (Teck), capital goods, healthcare and oil and gas stocks came under intense selling pressure.

However, realty and power scrip managed to stay afloat.

The S&P BSE IT index plunged by 157.45 points, capital goods index receded by 94.58 points, healthcare index fell by 92.54 points, Teck index declined by 79.01 points, and banking index was lower by 75.59 points.

The S&P BSE realty index increased by 12.87 points and power index gained 1.75 points.

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