Mumbai, Aug 3 (IANS) Weak services sector data, coupled with heavy selling pressure in banking and metal stocks, dragged the Indian equity markets to a week’s low on Thursday.
The S&P BSE banking index fell by 1.66 per cent or 470.45 points during the day’s trade. Stocks of banking majors like State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank and ICICI Bank were among the top losers on the BSE.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) held on to the psychologically important 10,000-mark and closed at 10,013.65 points — down 67.85 points or 0.67 per cent.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 32,502.55 points, closed at 32,237.88 points — down 238.86 points, or 0.74 per cent — from its previous close at 32,476.74 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 32,502.55 points and a low of 32,194.58 points during intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,840 declines and 788 advances.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.50 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.95 per cent.
“Indian shares fell for a second straight session today as SBI and other lenders extended losses on concerns about the likelihood of further monetary easing by the country’s central bank. Hopes of further rate cuts had risen after inflation eased while the economy is growing at its slowest pace in over two years,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
“Markets extended their loss on Thursday following continuous selling in metal and banking stocks. Market investors were unmoved as the rate reduction was already priced in while a weak Asian trend led to the correction. Metal, banks, financials, auto and capital goods were on the sell list,” he added.
On the currency front, the rupee closed almost flat at 63.69-70 to a US dollar from its previous close.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought scrips worth Rs 24.07 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 389.34 crore.
According to Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, the Nifty50 index settled slightly above the psychologically important 10,000-mark after falling below that mark briefly in late trade.
“Markets corrected on Thursday for the second consecutive session as a private survey showed that India’s services activity fell in July. The Sensex and the Nifty, both, hit their lowest level in almost one-week in late trade,” Jasani told IANS.
Data released during market hours revealed that the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a pointer to services output on a monthly basis, plunged to 45.9 in July, the lowest since September 2013, from June’s eight-month high of 53.1.
“Major Asian markets have ended on a negative note. European indices like FTSE 100 and CAC 40 traded higher. Sectorally, the top losers were the PSU banks, metal, bank nifty and pharma indices,” Jasani added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index dipped by 470.45 points, the metals index by 209.69 points, and the automobile index by 163.59 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE oil and gas index surged by 192.39 points, the energy index rose by 40.63 points and the consumer durables index was up 18.78 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Bharti Airtel, up 2.01 per cent at Rs 424.25; Reliance Industries, up 1.38 per cent at Rs 1,651.55; Bajaj Auto, up 1.14 per cent at Rs 2,834; Tata Consultancy Services, up 0.90 per cent at Rs 2,489.55; and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.73 per cent at Rs 3,828.
Major Sensex losers were: Lupin, down 3.80 per cent at Rs 994.90; Coal India, down 3.36 per cent at Rs 241.85; Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.56 per cent at Rs 253.60; SBI, down 2.24 per cent at Rs 300.75; and Cipla, down 2.04 per cent at Rs 554.25.