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Sensex falls for third straight day on rising trade worries

At close, the BSE Sensex was lower by 150.20 points or 0.44% at 33,685.54, while the broader NSE Nifty 50 was down 0.49% or 50.75 points to trade at 10,360.15.

business Updated: Mar 15, 2018 17:36 IST
Sensex today,BSE Sensex,NSE Nifty
The BSE Sensex fell for the third straight session on Thursday.(Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

The BSE Sensex fell by 150 points to close at 33,685.54 after a day of volatile trade, extending losses for a third day as banking, FMCG and IT shares fell amid fresh LoU fraud scare and intensifying trade war worries.

Banking stocks led by Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and SBI came under heavy selling pressure after the CBI registered a fresh case relating to “fraudulent” issuance of Rs 9 crore of LoUs to Chandri Papers and Allied Products by PNB’s Brady House branch.

| Read: PNB detects another fraud of Rs 9 crore at same branch involved in Nirav Modi case

The broader NSE Nifty 50 fell below the key 10,400-mark and touched a low of 10,346.20, before ending down 50.75 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 10,360.15.

“Market continued to consolidate in a narrow range following mixed trend in global market. World Bank prediction of 7.3% growth in FY19 will give a positive long term sentiment but global trade concerns and scepticism on upcoming state elections will refrain market for a decisive up move,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said.

The World Bank and Fitch projected India’s GDP growth at 7.3% for the next financial year and accelerate further to 7.5% in 2019-20, which helped limit the fall.

The US challenging India’s export subsidy schemes at the WTO fanned fears of trade war amid reports that President Donald Trump might take additional action against Chinese products.

Asian markets ended mixed after the Wall Street declined amid concerns that the US could impose severe tariffs on Chinese imports and that the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as early as next week.

After opening in the positive zone at 33,843.47, the BSE Sensex advanced to the day’s high of 33,866.28 at the outset. It later gave up gains and fell to a low of 33,637.28, dragged down by banking stocks.

However, the index managed to recoup some of the losses after European shares opened better. The 30-share barometer closed down by 150.20 points, or 0.44% at 33,685.54. The benchmark had lost 82.20 points in the previous two sessions.

“Volatility ruled the roost as mixed global and domestic cues left investors indecisive and unsure about the near term trend of the markets,” Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said.

Among the Sensex components, Yes Bank emerged as the biggest loser by falling 2.04%, followed by RIL 1.76%.

ICICI Bank fell 1.60%, Axis bank 1.23%, and SBI 1.13%. Federal bank and Bank of Baroda, falling up to 1.37%.

Other stocks that pulled down the key indices include HUL, Tata Steel, ITC, Sun Pharma, HDFC, TCS, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, NTPC, Adani Ports, Maruti Suzuki and Power Grids, falling up to 1.48%.

Gitanjali Gems stock continued its downturn, cracking 4.78% to Rs 12.95. PNB shares also shed 0.70%.

Asian Paints was the biggest gainer in the Sensex kitty, rising 2.14%, followed by HDFC Bank which advanced 0.79%.

Other gainers were M&M, Coal India, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Heromotocorp, Kotak Bank, Infosys and Dr Reddy’s, rising up to 0.67%.

Fertiliser stocks were in limelight after the government approved a proposal to extend urea subsidy till 2020.

| Read: Govt gives nod for extension of urea subsidy till 2020

Shares of Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals soared 9.82%, National Fertilisers 5.15%, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers 4.11%, Coromandel International 5.37% and Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals 2.13%, restricted the fall.

State-owned MMTC soared 20% today after the company said its board will meet on March 19 to consider a bonus issue.

Share price of Havells India rose 0.72% as the company signed an agreement with South Korean firm.

Among sectoral indices, the BSE energy index suffered the most by falling 1.16%, followed by oil & gas (1.04%), metal (0.54%), FMCG (0.52%), bankex (0.49%) and teck (0.24%). Infrastrucutre and power, however, ended in the positive zone.

Bucking the trend, the broader markets ended in the green, with the small-cap index rising 0.80% and mid-cap up 0.49%.

In Asian region, Singapore fell 0.61% and Shanghai Composite Index down 0.01%, while Japan’s Nikkei ended higher 0.12% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged higher 0.34%.

European markets moved higher as investors monitored new earnings and economic data, amid continued concerns over global trade.

In the Eurozone, Paris CAC 40 rose 0.57% while Frankfurt’s DAX up 0.87% in early deals. London’s FTSE was higher 0.31%.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 10:38 IST