Sensex Shed 176 Points, Nifty Settled at 10,200

Losses in energy and metal stocks offset strength in IT shares today.

BSE benchmark index Sensex shed 176 points, or 0.5 per cent, to end at 33,891, while the NSE Nifty settled just shy of 10,200, down 52 points from the previous close.

Losses in energy and metal stocks offset strength in IT shares today. Caution prevailed in the markets a day after the key indices rose around 2 per cent each.

Top laggards on the 50-scrip index Nifty included state-run oil marketing companies Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil, private sector bank IndusInd Bank, and pharmaceuticals major Cipla, closing between 3.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent lower.

Things to know:

1) Twenty nine stocks on the Nifty 50 closed lower for the day. Heavyweight Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s biggest refining complex, weighed down the most on the index today, with the stock closing 2.8 per cent lower.

2) The Nifty Energy comprising energy stocks declined 2.2 per cent. Bharat Petroleum shares fell 4.1 per cent, a day after the company reported its earnings for the July-September period. BPCL’s net profit in the quarter nearly halved to Rs. 1,218 crore, hurt by higher expenses on account of forex losses.

3) The Nifty Bank comprising banking stocks ended 0.6 per cent lower. Shares in private sector banks ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank and IndusInd Bank fell 1 per cent, 1.6 and 4.2 per cent respectively.

4) Analysts say corporate earnings from some companies lifted the sentiment somewhat. A couple of banks have come out with a good set of results, so there is optimism on earnings growth in corporate banks, cited Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities, as saying.

5) State-run Union Bank of India posted a surprise quarterly profit on Monday as it set aside lower provisions for bad loans. The stock ended 8.6 per cent higher today.

6) On the other hand, the Nifty IT finished 1.6 per cent higher, led by Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech and Infibeam which rose between 2.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent.

7) The rupee slipped to a one-week low of 73.62 against the dollar, boosting software services exporters such as Infosys and TCS. Rupee depreciation improves profitability for IT companies, which earn a significant portion of revenues from the US and European markets.

8) Lacklustre trade in domestic markets came amid a choppy movement in other Asian peers, after China made a fresh attempt to stabilise its stock markets although activity was choppy with investors cautious about further escalations in the Sino-US trade war.

9) MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan swung in and out of negative territory. The index, down 12 per cent this month, was on track for its biggest October decline since 2008.

10) Meanwhile, net sale of equities by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) stood at Rs. 2,230.79 crore on Monday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers of stocks worth Rs. 2,526.90 crore, according to provisional data available with stock exchanges.

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