The Sensex slumped for the fourth straight day today shedding 141 points to close at 3-week low of 17,490.81 on selling in metal,auto and oil & gas shares ahead of settlement in this month’s derivatives contracts and
release of April-June quarter GDP data.
The BSE benchmark index,which had lost 219 points in the last three trading sessions,opened flat today but lost ground as investors turned cautious.
After touching the day’s low of 17,471.13,it closed at 17,490.81 — 140.90 points,or 0.80 per cent,lower than yesterday’s close. This is lowest closing value in over three
weeks since Sensex ended at 17,412.96 on August 6.
The NSE 50-scrip index Nifty also dipped below the psychological 5,300 level for the first time after August 10 and ended with a loss of 46.80 points at 5,287.80.
Sterlite,which fell 4.69 per cent on reports of a weak metal price outlook,led 21 losers like Bajaj Auto (3.96 pc),Hero MotoCorp (3.3 pc),Bhel (2.89 pc),Hindalco (2.72 pc) in the 30-share Sensex. Traders said index was also pulled down
by Infosys,ONGC,RIL and HDFC shares.
“The markets showed signs of weakness ahead of the August series derivatives expiry. While the FIIs trading activity has shown net inflow for entire August,the selling pressure is seen from the Domestic institutions,” said Milan Bavishi,Head
Research,Inventure Growth & Securities.
Brokers said selling gathered momentum as market players squared positions ahead of the F&O settlement on Thursday and weak growth in April-June quarter GDP on Friday.
Overall,11 out of 13 sectoral indices closed lower while FMCG and Healthcare indices ended higher.
Concerns on policymakers having limited room to boost the weakening economy amid a ‘political stalemate-type situation’ in Parliament related to CAG report on coal block allocations also weighed on the market sentiment,they added.
A weak trend in global markets on deepening Eurozone debt crisis and lower earnings by leading companies also soured the mood.
Asian markets,excepting China and Hong Kong which ended with losses,closed better as investors await a report on US economic growth and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on monetary policy later this week.
Key benchmark indices in Japan,Singapore,South Korea and Taiwan rose between 0.05 per cent to 0.64 per cent at close while those from China and Hong Kong fell between 0.12 per cent and 0.96 per cent.
European stocks were,however,trading weak in their afternoon deals. The CAC,the DAX and the FTSE indices were down 0.50 per cent each.
Back home,Sterlite Industries led the losers in Sensex falling 4.69 per cent. It was followed by Bajaj Auto (3.96 pc),Hero Moto (3.3 pc),BHEL (2.89 pc),Hindalco (2.72 pc),Bharti (2.67 pc),ONGC (2.32 pc),Tata Motors (1.56 pc),Infosys (1.39 pc),HDFC (1.13 pc),Tata Steel (1.06 pc) and RIL (0.97 pc).
Among eight Sensex winners,Tata Power led the pack with a rise of 0.87 per cent,followed by ITC and Maruti gaining 0.50 per cent each.
The total market breadth at BSE was negative as 1,720 stocks ended lower while 1,060 scrips closed higher.
Among the sectoral indices,the BSE-Realty dropped by 3.08 per cent,followed by the BSE-Metal (1.79 pc),the BSE-Auto (1.37 pc),the BSE-Oil&Gas (1.12 pc),the BSE-CG (1.10 pc),the BSE-Teck (1.09 pc),the BSE-Power (1.07 pc) and the BSE-PSU (1.01 pc).
The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,838.70 crore from the yesteday’s level of Rs 2,335.85 crore.
FIIs bought shares worth Rs 93.09 crore yesterday as per provisional data with stock exchanges.