Closing Bell Sensex, Nifty Close Marginally Lower; Pharma, IT Stocks Lead Losses

Top laggards on the 50-scrip Nifty were Hindalco, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Cipla and Dr Reddy's Laboratories.

Domestic stock markets finished session on a sluggish note, with the BSE Sensex closing 22 points lower. National Stock Exchange (NSE) benchmark index Nifty settled at 10,957, down 23 points.

The key indices were dragged lower by a selloff witnessed in IT and pharma stocks. Losses in heavyweights such as TCS offset gains in consumer stocks including Hindustan Unilever, a day ahead of a no-confidence motion against the government.

On Friday, Parliament will debate a no-confidence motion tabled by opposition parties against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Wednesday, the first day of the monsoon session.

Twenty eight stocks on the 50-scrip Nifty index closed with losses. Top laggards on the 50-scrip index were Hindalco, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, finishing the session with losses of around 2-6 per cent.

Pharma stocks weighed on the markets, with the Nifty Pharma comprising pharma stocks falling 1.5 per cent.

Cadila Healthcare dropped 3.3 per cent, followed by Cipla (2.3 per cent), Biocon (2.2 per cent) and Dr Reddy’s (1.9 per cent). Sun Pharma, Lupin and Aurobindo Pharma settled with losses of around 1 per cent each.

The Nifty IT shed 1 per cent, dragged lower by a nearly 8 per cent fall in Mindtree shares. Mindtree shares declined despite strong earnings performance reported by the tech company for the April-June period.

Mindtree had post-market hours the previous day registered a net profit of Rs. 158.2 crore in the June quarter, which marked an annual growth of 30 per cent. Mindtree’s revenue rose 27 per cent to Rs. 1,639.5 crore.

Among other IT stocks, TCS and Infosys finished with losses of 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Kotak Mahindra Bank finished 3.8 per cent lower, after the private sector lender reported a smaller-than-expected 12.3 per cent rise in net profit for the June quarter.

The bank posted a net profit of Rs. 1,025 crore ($148.84 million) for the June quarter, as against Rs. 913 crore a year ago. The net profit fell short of analysts’ expectations of Rs. 1,167 crore, reported.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was among the top losers on both benchmark indices.

However, the downside in the markets was limited due to some buying witnessed in FMCG and PSU bank stocks. NSE sectoral indices of FMCG and PSU banking rose 0.8 and 0.5 per cent. The advances in consumer stocks were led by heavyweight ITC, which settled 1.8 per cent higher.

Bandhan Bank shares rose 3.9 per cent higher, a day after the Kolkata-based lender posted a 47 per cent increase in net profit for the April-June period.

Meanwhile, shares in other Asian markets struggled to hold earlier gains made after upbeat Wall Street earnings overnight, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.19 per cent.

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