Indian share markets ended down on Monday tracking Asian and European bourses as investors factor in rising protectionism after the G20 failed to agree on free trade even though they reiterated their resolve to avoid competitive currency devaluation.
The 30-share benchmark Sensex opened flat but fell as much as 167 points or 0.56% to 29482.40 in intraday trade and closed down 130 points or 0.44% at 29,518.74. The Nifty fell 0.36% to close at 9,126.85.
NTPC and Lupin led the Sensex chart gaining 1% each followed by ITC and Coal India 0.9% each, Bharti Airtel 0.7% and HDFC Bank 0.6%
Axis Bank closed down 2.5% while Infosys was down 2.2%, ICICI Bank 2%, TCS 1.9%, Wipro 1.6% and Reliance Industries 1.4%.
On Friday, the Sensex closed up 63 points or 0.2% at record high 29,649 while Nifty was marginally higher at 9,160 on hopes of Goods and Services Tax roll out from July. The GST council has approved all the five draft rules.
On Monday, the Cabinet four of the bills so that they can introduced in Parliament soon for discussion and passage.
Asian markets were marginally down on Monday tracking a weakness in Wall Street and as the G20 failed to agree on free trade. Europe opened in the red over political uncertainties.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down slightly. The Hang Seng ended up 0.8% while Kospi was down 0.35% and Strait Times 0.1%. Japanese markets are closed for a holiday.
The dollar was little changed against major currencies days after the Federal Reserve signalled a less hawkish stance than what markets were expecting.
Against a basket of six currencies, the dollar traded around 100.30 after sliding to five-week low on Friday. The euro was traded at around $1.074 after hitting a six-week peak of $1.0782 on Friday even though political uncertainties continue in EU especially France.
Ahead of the presidential elections due in April 23, opinion polls show far-right leader Marine Le Pen close to centrist Emmanuel Macron.
On Saturday, financial leaders from the world’s 20 powerful economies under the G20 grouping maintained common ground on foreign exchange but failed to agree on trade, triggering fears of protectionism that will keep investors cautious this week.
The G20 reiterated the warnings against competitive currency devaluations and disorderly foreign exchange markets. But the failure to agree on free trade may have negative consequences for financial markets in the coming days.