Indian markets nursed losses for a fourth straight session yesterday as upbeat second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers failed to dispel concerns over a widening fiscal deficit.
The BSE benchmark Sensex dived 316 points to close below the 33,000-mark, while the broader Nifty declined 104.75 points to 10,121.80.
It was a forgettable week for both the key indices, with the Sensex recording a fall of 846.30 points, or 2.51% and the NSE Nifty losing 267.90 points, or 2.57%.
“Despite data pointing to an improvement in the macro- economic environment, participants remained cautious and chose to sell stocks in the latter half of the trading day,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, senior fund manager – equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
The 30-share benchmark, after scaling a high of 33,300.81 in early deals, slipped into the negative zone to touch 32,797.78, before settling at 32,832.94, down 316.41 points, or 0.95%.
This was its weakest closing since 15 November, when it had finished at 32,760.44. The 50-issue NSE Nifty too cracked the 10,200-mark and hit a low of 10,108.55 before finishing 104.75 points, or 1.02%, down at 10,121.80.
Reversing a five-quarter slide in GDP growth, the economy bounced back from a three-year low to expand by 6.3% in July-September as manufacturing revved up and businesses adjusted to the new goods and service tax regime, data released after market hours on Thursday showed.
However, participants remained risk-averse as India’s fiscal deficit at the end of October hit 96.1% of the budget estimate for 2017-18, mainly due to lower revenue realisation and rise in expenditure.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth net Rs1,500.76 crore, while domestic institutional investors bought shares to the tune of Rs1,202.57 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.
Small and mid-cap indices fell 1.16% and 0.95% in today’s session, respectively.
The session saw buying in select auto stocks such as Maruti Suzuki, TVS Motor and Ashok Leyland, buoyed by encouraging sales data for November.
Among Sensex constituents, Adani Ports suffered the most by diving 3%, followed by Bajaj Auto 2.99% despite the company reporting a 21% rise in total sales in November. Other big losers were Bharti Airtel (2.74%), Sun Pharma (2.59%), SBI (2.47%), Dr Reddy’s (2.44%), Tata Steel (2.08%), HUL (1.71%), Infosys (1.69%), Power Grid (1.51%), Coal India (1.43%), RIL (1.38%), Tata Motors (1.36%), HDFC LTD (1.11%) and Hero MotoCorp (0.97%).
However, Kotak Bank rose 0.23% followed by NTPC 0.14%. Among BSE sectoral indices, realty dropped by 1.99% followed by metal 1.75%, infrastructure 1.63%, oil & gas 1.47%, PSU 1.46%, power 1.38%, IT 1.29% and auto 0.99%.
Globally, other Asian markets traded mixed after investors shifted nervously as US President Donald Trump’s much-hyped tax-cut plans hung in the balance after a plan to push them through hit unexpected hurdles. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished 0.35% lower, while Korea fell 0.04%. Japan’s Nikkei, however, rose 0.41% and Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.01%.
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