The BSE benchmark Sensex today extended its losing run to the fourth day by ending 12.45 points down at a fresh four-month low of 18,437.78 on selling in IT stocks led by Infosys and TCS,ahead of earnings season.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 18,455.80 and showed signs of firming up only to decline afterwards. It settled at 18,437.78,recording a modest loss of 12.45 points or 0.07 per cent from its last weekend’s level. The index has now lost 603.17 points or 3.17 per cent in four sessions.
Similarly,the NSE 50-share index Nifty also moved down by 10.30 points or 0.19 per cent to end at 5,542.95.
“Markets remained highly range-bound with negative bias but some stocks saw buying at lower levels. This week is highly crucial in deciding near term trend as IIP and inflation data will be released,” said Rakesh Goel,Senior Vice President,Bonanza Portfolio.
Among Sensex gainers,Bhel closed 2.6 per cent up on rising order inflows. Shares of Bharti Airtel gained 3.90 per cent to end at Rs 281.20 after the Supreme Court allowed 3G roaming pacts to continue till next date of hearing.
Overall,13 Sensex stocks declined including SBI,ICICI Bank,HDFC,L&T,Jindal Steel and Sterlite Industries.
The IT sectoral index suffered the most by losing 0.98 per cent to 6,664.93 points after Infosys fell 1.07 per cent to ahead of Friday earnings. TCS and Wipro also ended lower.
The capital goods sector index also hit hard as it lost 0.87 per cent to 8,836.85 on L&T sliding 1.78 per cent to Rs 1,324.80. Banking sector dropped by 0.79 per cent to 12,642.35 points as state-run SBI ended 1.09 per cent down at Rs 2,033.95 and ICICI Bank fell 0.92 per cent.
Asian stocks,barring Japan,dropped after reports said China saw more infections from a deadly new strain of bird flu. Key benchmark indices in China,Hong Kong,Singapore,Taiwan and South Korea fell up to 2.39 per cent. However,Japan’s Nikkei Average rose 2.80 per cent.
European markets were marginally higher in their early trade as indices in London,Germany and France inched up between 0.37 per cent to 0.76 per cent.
Turning to the domestic market,17 scrips out of the 30-share sensex pack closed with gains while 13 others ended with losses. Major losers from the Sensex were Sterlite Ind (1.85 pc),L&T (1.78 pc),HDFC (1.62 pc),Wipro (1.39 pc),Jindal Steel (1.3 pc),TCS (1.27 pc),SBI (1.09 pc),Infosys (1.07 pc) and ICICI Bank (0.92 pc).
However,Bharti Airtel rose by 3.90 per cent,followed by BHEL (2.62 pc),Cipla (2.19 pc),HUL (1.51 pc),Dr Reddy’s (1.44 pc),Tata Power (1.31 pc),Gail India (1.18 pc),Hindalco (1.17 pc),RIL (1.13 pc) and Sun Pharma (0.88 pc).
Amidst the ongoing gloom on the economic front,Finance Minister P Chidambaram today allayed fears of the industry over stalled projects and assured all steps to remove the bottlenecks.
“The agenda was to identify the projects that have been stalled. We’ve identified 215 projects which for one reason or another are stalled. We’ve identified another 126 projects which are new projects,to which banks have sanctioned loans but which have not taken off,” he told reporters here.
In sectoral performance,the S&P BSE-IT moved down by 0.98 per cent,followed by S&P BSE-Capital Goods (0.87 pc),S&P BSE-Bankex (0.79 pc) and S&P BSE-Metal (0.61 pc).
However,S&P BSE-CD rose by 1.18 per cent,followed by S&P BSE-FMCG (0.77 pc),S&P BSE-Healthcare (0.71 pc) and S&P BSE-Power (0.64 pc).
The total market breadth turned negative as 906 stocks finished lower while 799 stocks ended higher. 626 scrips ruled steady. The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,371.75 crore from last Friday’s level of Rs 1,680.05 crore.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 203.18 crore on last Friday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.