Equities skid on geo-poltical tensions, sell-off in auto stocks

Negative global cues on the back of escalating geo-political tensions and heavy selling pressure in auto and banking stocks dragged key Indian equity indices — the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex — lower on Monday.

The fall was despite hopes of policy actions from the newly revamped central government and long-term benefits from GST.

A rally in index heavyweights like Coal India, Sun Pharma and ONGC towards the fag end of trading aided the key indices recover from their lower levels, observers averred.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 61.55 points, or 0.62 per cent, to close at 9,912.85 points.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which witnessed a fall of over 300-points during the day’s trade, closed at 31,702.25 points — down 189.98 points or 0.60 per cent from its previous close at 31,892.23 points.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,628 declines and 972 advances.

“Indian markets fell today after three consecutive sessions of gains on the back of rising geo-political tensions between North Korea and the US as there were renewed fears of another missile launch,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and BSE small-cap indices fell marginally more, thereby underperforming the main indices,” he added.

In terms of the broader market indices, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.68 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.62 per cent.

“Asian markets traded under pressure as North Korea’s latest nuclear test provoked the usual knee-jerk shift to safe havens, though equity losses were modest amid expectations that the flare-up would prove fleeting,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“The Nifty auto index fell 0.8 per cent after gaining nearly two per cent on Friday when most automakers reported August sales numbers. Top gainers on the NSE were Coal India,Sun Pharma and Bosch, while top losers were Indian Oil, Adani Ports and ACC,” said Desai.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by three paise to 64.05-06 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.02-03.

According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, domestic market sentiments remained encouraging with signs of healthy uptick in manufacturing activities and demand, post the initial GST hiccups.

“The swift revival in the economic activities has added optimism on faster recovery in earnings post the weak Q1FY18. Economy is expected to return to its robust growth trajectory on the back of policy actions from government and long-term benefits from GST starting to flow in,” said Nair.

All the sub-indices on the BSE ended in the red, barring metal index, which was up 35.26 points

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index declined by 215.16 points, automobile index by 187.35 points and capital goods index by 128.30 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Monday were: Coal India, up 3.38 per cent at Rs 246.40; Sun Pharma, up 2.79 per cent at Rs 500.55; ONGC, up 1.06 per cent at Rs 161.60; Lupin, up 0.24 per cent at Rs 995.90; and Wipro, up 0.19 per cent at Rs 297.35.

Major Sensex losers were: Adani Ports, down 2.60 per cent at Rs 384.30; Infosys, down 2.04 per cent at Rs 901.30; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.94 per cent at Rs 1,192.10; Tata Motors (DVR), down 1.87 per cent at Rs 220.60; and Hero MotoCorp, down 1.82 per cent at Rs 3,973.60.

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