Indian equities subdued on negative global cues

Global oil prices which were expecting a US growth lead rally also fell even as production cartel talks resumed.

Mumbai, March 27 : Negative global cues and heavy selling pressure witnessed in metal, automobile, and healthcare stocks subdued the Indian equity markets on Monday.

The key indices closed with losses of more than half a per cent each, even as a strong rupee and continuous inflow of foreign funds led to some recovery from lower levels.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed below the 9,100-mark. It fell by 62.80 points or 0.69 per cent to 9,045.20 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,395.68 points, closed at 29,237.15 points — down 184.25 points or 0.63 per cent from the previous close at 29,421.40 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 29,420.70 points and a low of 29,163.54 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish — with 1,666 declines and 1,135 advances.

However, the broader markets slightly outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.27 per cent, while the small-cap index slipped by a minimal 0.04 per cent.

“Markets ended lower on Monday after two sessions of gains (last week) tracking correction in global peers after the US President Donald Trump failed to get healthcare reform passed. The losses came on the back of weak global cues as the major Asian markets have ended on a negative note,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“A below normal forecast for monsoon by a private agency and correction in commodity prices also led to some nervousness. The European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX too traded lower.”

According to Vijay Singhania, Founder and Director of brokerage firm Trade Smart Online, public sector banks moved higher in the hope that the government would either announce a new package to deal with its toxic assets or give the bankers more power to force recovery from the borrowers.

“Global oil prices which were expecting a US growth lead rally also fell even as production cartel talks resumed,” Singhania cited.

“The Indian rupee, however, hit a 18-month high as FIIs (foreign institutional investors) inflows continues to rise both in the equity and debt segment.”

On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 37 paise to 65.04 against a US dollar from its previous close of 65.41 to a greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 577.88 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 594.48 crore.

On the sector-specific movement, Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS: “Most IT sector stocks traded down due to profit booking at higher levels, while banking sector stocks witnessed good recovery from lower levels in the second half of the session.”

“Pharma, auto, oil-gas, power and telecom sector stocks traded with bearish sentiments throughout the session, whereas textile, media-entertainment and FMCG sector stocks traded with mixed sentiments.”

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index plunged by 307.81 points, followed by the oil and gas index, which dipped by 146.25 points, and the healthcare index, which fell by 124.22 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index surged by 178.13 points, the FMCG index inched up 6.46 points, and the power index was a tad up by 3.03 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Monday were: State Bank of India (SBI), up 1.20 per cent at Rs 279.35; Power Grid, up 0.88 per cent at Rs 195.40; HDFC, up 0.87 per cent at Rs 1,474.80; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, up 0.59 per cent at Rs 2,638.65; and ITC, up 0.30 per cent at Rs 281.90.

Major Sensex losers were: Tata Steel, down 3.15 per cent at Rs 477.65; Reliance Industries, down 2.76 per cent at Rs 1,250.75; Asian Paints, down 2.07 per cent at Rs 1,043.90; Coal India, down 2.06 per cent at Rs 291.90; and Wipro, down 1.77 per cent at Rs 503.45.

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