Geo-political tensions subdue Indian equities

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Mumbai, April 7

Global geo-political tensions, outflow of foreign funds and heavy selling pressure in banking, healthcare and metal stocks pulled the Indian equity markets lower on Friday.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed well below its important resistance mark of 9,200 points. It fell by 63.65 points or 0.69 per cent to 9,198.30 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,850.71 points, closed at 29,706.61 points — down 220.73 points or 0.74 per cent from the previous close at 29,927.34 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 29,886.12 points and a low of 29,668.45 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish — with 1,640 declines and 1,277 advances.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.30 per cent, while the small-cap index slipped by 0.47 per cent.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Risk-appetite took a hit after geo-political tensions pulled global equities down. Soaring oil prices and continuing strength in rupee also distorted the usual sectoral diversification themes.”

“But investors will have lot to look forward to as Q4 results start trickling in soon, and as NPA (non-performing assets) resolution measures are also expected shortly.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 23 paise to 64.29 against a US dollar from its previous close of 64.52 to a greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrip worth Rs 262.37 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 414.94 crore.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, profit booking in index heavyweights such as Reliance Industries and Infosys pressurised the benchmark indices at higher levels.

“Among the sectors, oil-gas sector stocks outperformed bearishness in the market while almost all sector stocks witnessed selling pressure from higher levels in the second half of the session,” Desai told IANS.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index plunged by 236.57 points, followed by the healthcare index, which dipped by 220.07 points, and the metal index, which fell by 149.19 points.

On the other hand, the oil and gas index rose by 67.04 points, and the capital goods index inched up by 16.76 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 1.14 per cent at Rs 2,427.10; Bajaj Auto, up 1.01 per cent at Rs 2,829.40; Bharti Airtel, up 0.83 per cent at Rs 344.50; Hero MotoCorp, up 0.58 per cent at Rs 3,224; and NTPC, up 0.27 per cent at Rs 167.70.

Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 3.04 per cent at Rs 665.65; Lupin, down 2.61 per cent at Rs 1,410.35; Adani Ports, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 347.55; Reliance Industries, down 2.28 per cent at Rs 1,405.55; and Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 1.97 per cent at Rs 2,657.70.


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