Global cues, weak rupee drag equity markets lower (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) Broadly negative global indices, coupled with foreign fund outflows and depreciation of the rupee, dragged the Indian equity markets lower on Thursday.

Besides, investors were cautious ahead of the GST Council’s meet on the contours of the pan-India indirect tax regime and probes against commercial banks in the aftermath of the demonetisation drive.

Even the disappointment over the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meet’s minutes subdued the key indices.

Despite some short covering in the second half of the session which helped the benchmark indices to pare some of their initial losses — under intense selling pressure — weighed the key indices below their psychologically important levels.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE and wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded below the psychologically important marks of 26,000 points and 8,000 points, respectively.

The key indices closed in the red, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in metal, banking and capital goods stocks.

The wider NSE Nifty declined by 82.20 points or 1.02 per cent to 7,979.10 points.

The barometer Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 26,224.07 points, closed at 25,979.60 points — down 262.78 points or 1.00 per cent from the previous close at 26,242.38 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 26,248.45 points and a low of 25,940.14 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 2,043 declines and 619 advances.

On Wednesday, the barometer index had closed lower by 65.60 points or 0.25 per cent to 26,242.38 points, while the NSE Nifty slipped by 21.10 points or 0.26 per cent to 8,061.30 points.

“Markets ended lower (on Thursday) for the seventh consecutive session. The Nifty opened lower and continued to show weakness for a major part of the trading session on the back of weak Asian and European markets,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC securities, told IANS.

“Metals, bank and oil shares came under selling pressure from institutions (mainly Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)).”

Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, observed that CNX Nifty traded with bearish sentiments due to selling pressure from traders.

“IT stocks witnessed volatile movement due to short covering. Banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, textile and FMCG stocks traded down due to selling pressure,” Desai elaborated.

“USD/INR futures prices traded with volatile sentiments which also made Indian equity markets volatile.”

The Indian rupee weakened by eight paise to 67.99 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.91 to a greenback.

“Indian rupee started the day with a positive note. However, gains were seen pared in later part as local equity markets hammered down sharply amid continuous capital outflows from local equities,” SMC Global Securities said in a commentary to IANS.

In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the FIIs sold stocks worth Rs 614.40 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 319.79 crore.

Sector-wise, all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed in the red.

The S&P BSE metal index fell by 286.34 points, followed by the banking index which receded by 232.76 points, and the capital goods index which declined by 218.16 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: ITC, up 0.51 per cent at Rs 227.25; Asian Paints up 0.38 per cent at Rs 869.55 and Tata Motors, up 0.19 per cent at Rs 469.65.

Major Sensex losers were: Adani Ports, down 3.60 per cent at Rs 263.90; Tata Steel, down 3.09 per cent at Rs 392.40; ONGC, down 3.03 per cent at Rs 195.35; Bharti Airtel, down 2.98 per cent at Rs 293.15; and State Bank of India (SBI), down 2.12 per cent at Rs 249.75.

–IANS

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