Domestic stock markets, closed lower today tracking weakness in Asian peers, amid concerns whether China and the US will be able to resolve trade differences.
BSE benchmark index Sensex shed 106 points to end at 36,134 and the NSE Nifty finished at 10,869, down 14 points from the previous close. Losses in banking, financial services and FMCG stocks pulled the markets lower, however advances in IT stocks kept the downside in check.
Top laggards on the 50-scrip index were Sun Pharma, Mahindra & Mahindra, Grasim Industries, HDFC and State Bank of India (SBI), finishing between 1.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent lower.
Things to know:
1) The Nifty PSU Bank an NSE index comprising state-run lenders finished 1.3 per cent lower. Prominent laggards from the sector included Punjab National Bank, which fell 2.5 per cent.
2) Investors in the domestic markets remained cautious ahead of election results for some states next week, say analysts.
3) “Our markets are underperforming, awaiting (state) election results next week. Other parameters like crude price and trade war concerns have turned positive,” cited Neeraj Dewan, director, Quantum Securities, as saying.
4) The result of elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, among others, are expected to set the tone for the national elections scheduled in May 2019.
5) However, gains in informational technology stocks provided some respite to the markets.
6) TCS, Infosys and Wipro ended between 1.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent higher, contributing to a 1.8 per cent rise in the Nifty IT index.
7) The rupee weakened as crude oil prices and the dollar strengthened overseas, and was set to close lower for the day. The rupee declined by 9 paise against the greenback to hit 70.55 at the day’s weakest level.
8) Weakness in the rupee boosts profitability for exporters such as IT companies.
9) Caution also prevailed a day ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of India’s bi-monthly policy statement.
10) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy cannot be hawkish in the inflation scenario and crude scenario, he added, referring to the monetary policy meeting on Wednesday. A poll of 70 economists predicted the RBI would hold its repo rate at 6.50 per cent.>