Nifty traded under pressure and lost nearly a per cent, in continuation to last week’s fall. Almost all the sectoral indices ended lower. Weak global cues and caution ahead of the FOMC meet weighed on the sentiment.
Falling for a fifth straight session, the BSE benchmark Sensex hit over three-month low on Monday on heavy selling in metals and IT stocks, as market participants looked cautious ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s meet on March 20-21.
The 30-share Sensex closed 0.76 per cent, or 252.88 points, down at 32,923.12, whereas the 50-share NSE Nifty index settled 0.99 per cent, or 100.90 points, down at 10,094.25. Both of these indices witnessed their lowest closing since December 6, 2017.
As many as 41 stocks in the Nifty pack ended in red, with HCL TechnologiesBSE -4.20 %, falling the most at 4.61 per cent, followed by Tata SteelBSE -4.24 % (down 4.37 per cent), Bharti Airtel (down 4.13 per cent), Tech Mahindra (down 3.94 per cent) and BPCL (down 3.70 per cent.
On the other hand, NTPCBSE 1.03 %, Power Grid, Maruti Suzuki, Hindustan Unilever and Larsen & Toubro gained between 0.90 per cent and 1.25 per cent.
Metal counters witnessed severe selling pressure, tracking losses in Chinese iron ore prices. The BSE Metal index cracked over 2 per cent to 13,550.30. Barring Nalco (up 1.82 per cent), other counters in the index closed in red. Share price of NMDC, SAILBSE -5.43 %, Tata Steel, HindalcoBSE -3.11 % and Coal IndiaBSE -2.51 % tanked between 2.50 per cent and 6.50 per cent.
Jayant Manglik, President, Religare Broking said, “Weak global cues and caution ahead of the FOMC meet were weighing on the sentiment. We reiterate our immediate target of 10,000 for Nifty. We feel correction could be steep on broader front thus suggest maintaining extra caution in midcap and smallcap space.”
Chinese iron ore slipped to its lowest level since November 2017, as high inventory levels and a weak domestic steel market weighed on prices. Worries over the potential trade war between the US and China and frustration over US President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs also played spoilsports hurting investors’ risk appetite.
Among other sectoral indices on the BSE, Realty and Telecom index slipped over 3 per cent each.
Initial public offerings by Bandhan Bank got subscribed by over 14 times till 4.15 pm (IST), according to the data available with NSE.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said, “Market continues to drag under global market volatility ahead of the FOMC meet tomorrow, where consensus hints at a 25bps rate hike. Bond yield remains at elevated levels and concern on trade tensions is influencing investors to book profit.”
Asian peers ended mixed on Monday. Nikkei slipped 0.90 per cent, whereas Hang Seng and Shanghai ended marginally higher by 0.04 per cent and 0.29 per cent, respectively.>