Negative global cues, coupled with heavy selling pressure in index heavyweights like Sun Pharma and ITC and substantial outflow of foreign funds, pulled key Indian equity indices — the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex — lower on Wednesday.
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE healthcare, FMCG and capital goods indices, among others, slipped into the negative zone.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 36 points, or 0.36 per cent, to close at 9,916.20 points.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,713.50 points, closed at 31,661.97 points — down 147.58 points, or 0.46 per cent, from its previous close at 31,809.55 points.
The BSE market breadth, however, was slightly bullish with 1,330 advances and 1,249 declines.
In contrast, the broader market indices gained with the S&P BSE mid-cap index up 0.17 per cent and the small-cap index up 0.38 per cent.
“Markets corrected once again on Wednesday after the bounce back seen in the previous session (on Tuesday). Corrections in ITC and Sun Pharma weighed down the main indices,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“Weak global cues triggered by tensions between US and North Korea also played a part. Major Asian markets have ended on a negative note, barring the Shanghai index. European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded lower,” he added.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the rupee hit a three-week low against the dollar, as tensions over North Korea’s latest nuclear test showed few signs of abating and continued to spook global investors.
During the day’s trade, the Indian rupee strengthened by three paise to 64.10 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.13.
“North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday comes at a time when foreign investors were reducing their holdings in Indian shares, having sold a net $2 billion in August and $248.70 million so far in September, according to clearing and exchange data,” Desai told IANS.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrip worth Rs 1,353.02 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 51.57 crore during the day.
“Reliance Industries (RIL) was up 1 per cent at Rs 1,650, extending its 6.6 per cent surge in past five trading sessions on BSE, after the company fixed September 9 as the record date for 1:1 bonus issue. The stock will turn ex-bonus tomorrow on September 7,” he added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index declined by 180.64 points, FMCG index by 108.99 points and capital goods index by 101.58 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE metal index was up 91.76 points, basic materials index by 17.62 points and finance index by 11.09 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Kotak Bank, up 0.93 per cent at Rs 996.20; Reliance Industries, up 0.71 per cent at Rs 1,644.60; Coal India, up 0.69 per cent at Rs 255.45; Maruti Suzuki, up 0.45 per cent at Rs 7,851.15; and HDFC, up 0.44 per cent at Rs 1,774.85.
Major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 3.73 per cent at Rs 475; ITC, down 2.43 per cent at Rs 275.55; Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.26 per cent at Rs 214.55; Lupin, down 2.05 per cent at Rs 971.30; and Axis Bank, down 1.79 per cent at Rs 493.50.