Sensex down 114 points; capital goods stocks fall

Mumbai, March 18 (IANS) A day after it gained nearly 300 points, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Wednesday’s trade down 114 points or 0.40 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed the day’s trade in red. It was down 37.40 points or 0.43 percent down at 8,685.90 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,766.87 points, closed at 28,622.12 points, down 114.26 points or 0.40 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,736.38 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,806.97 points and a low of 28,546.76 points in intra-day trade.

On Tuesday the S&P BSE Sensex closed the day’s trade 298.67 points or 1.05 percent up on the back of positive global and local cues.

According to analysts, markets were cautious ahead of the outcome of the US Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet which is being held on March 17 and 18.

This meeting will provide the trajectory of the US economy, which will also reveal as to when the rate hike might take place. With higher interest rates, the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India.

Apart from anxiety over FOMC meet, there were also concerns regarding the marginal increase in the retail inflation for February which belied expectations of a rate cut next month.

The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to announce its first bi-monthly policy review for 2015 on April 7.

The markets are also keenly looking forward to the land and coal bills getting passed during the ongoing budget session of parliament.

Charting the market’s movements, analysts said that the markets took a cautious stand after a positive opening and finally closed marginally lower, due to the absence of positive triggers.

“Awaiting for the FOMC policy statement, markets continue to consolidate. Clarity from FOMC meet and post budget reforms could determine the trend of this phase,” said Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

According to Nair, the US Fed may not go in for a rate hike in the immediate future.

“Market is expecting a rate hike post June 2015, hence indication towards the time-frame and outlook will provide support to the world market,” Nair added.

On Wednesday, healthy buying was observed in banking, oil and gas, healthcare and metal sectors.

However, capital goods, automobile, information technology (IT), technology, entertainment and media (TECK) and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks came under selling pressure.

The S&P BSE banking index was up 105.66 points, followed by oil and gas index which was higher by 65.83 points, healthcare index rose 39.55 points and metal index increased by 38.50 points.

However, S&P BSE capital goods index was down 127.14 points, automobile index was lower by 123.44 points, IT index fell 110.08 points, TECK index declined by 49.08 points, and FMCG index dipped by 48.42 points.

The major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Reliance, up 1.39 percent at Rs.868.75; State Bank of India (SBI), up 1.34 percent at Rs.286.60; Hero MotoCorp, up 0.81 percent at Rs.2,674.05; Coal India, up 0.75 percent at Rs.364.35; and HDFC Bank, up 0.57 percent at Rs.1,063.75.

The losers were: NTPC down 3.11 percent at Rs.152.90; BHEL, down 2.20 percent at Rs.258.30; Tata Motors, down 2.00 percent at Rs.560.10; Wipro, down 1.87 percent at Rs.630.50; and ONGC, down 1.50 percent at Rs.309.20.

Among the Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei went up by 0.55 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed higher by 0.91 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite Index, gained by 2.12 percent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was marginally up by 0.52 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index was lower by 1.39 percent and France’s CAC 40 was down 0.47 percent at the closing in the Indian markets.

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