Disappointing macro-economic data points and lower revenue guidance from an IT major dragged the Indian equity markets lower on Thursday.
Besides, massive outflows of foreign funds and rising geopolitical tensions weighed heavy on investors’ sentiment.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) dipped by 52.65 points or 0.57 per cent to close at 9,150.80 points.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed lower by 182.03 points or 0.61 per cent.
The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 29,637.12 points, closed at 29,461.45 points from Wednesday’s close at 29,643.48 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 29,660.48 points and a low of 29,442.26 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bears — with 1,482 declines and 1,421 advances.
The broader markets ended the day’s trade on a flat note. The S&P BSE mid-cap index inched up by 0.03 per cent, while the small-cap index closed up by 0.19 per cent.
“Markets ended lower on Thursday for the second consecutive session. The Sensex and the Nifty, both, hit their two-week closing lows,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“Sentiment was subdued after domestic data showed that industrial production contracted in February and consumer price inflation edged up in March. Weak global cues also weighed on market sentiment.”
However, on the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 26 pasie to 64.41-42 against a US dollar from its previous close of 64.68 to a greenback.
“Bearish USD/INR futures provided support at lower levels and restricted any major fall,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls told IANS.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrip worth Rs 407.88 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 65.43 crore.
On stock specific basis, IT sector dragged the equity markets lower after software major Infosys projected a lower revenue growth in single digit for the fiscal 2017-18 than it posted in fiscal 2016-17 in dollar and rupee terms.
The IT major disclosed that consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 would grow 6.5-8.5 per cent in constant currency (cc) and 6.1-8.1 per cent in dollar terms from 7.4 per cent ($10.2 billion) annual growth posted in the fiscal 2016-17 (FY 2017).
According to Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, while IT stocks remained a drag on the market, weak Index of Industrial Production (IIP) figure stoked concerns over Q4 expectations.
“Trump talk’s effect on dollar propped up rupee, but risk appetite remained limp ahead of low weekend,” James explained.
Commenting on the sector specific movement, Desai said: “Almost all sector stocks faced resistance at higher levels. Along with media, realty remained top performing sector on positive side.”
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index plunged by 237.10 points, the automobile index receded by 171.31 points, and the capital goods index edged lower by 169.39 points.
On the other hand, oil and gas index augmented by 146.15 points, healthcare index surged by 98.64 points and energy index was up 26.47 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Sun Pharma, up 1.39 per cent at Rs 692.30; PowerGrid, up 0.94 per cent at Rs 199.40; Reliance Industries, up 0.75 per cent at Rs 1,364.35; HDFC, up 0.61 per cent at Rs 1,474.85; and Asian Paints, up 0.49 per cent at Rs 1,077.65.
Major Sensex losers were: Infosys, down 3.86 per cent at Rs 931.40; Bharti Airtel, down 3.03 per cent at Rs 340.55; Tata Steel, down 2.92 per cent at Rs 464; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 2.77 per cent at Rs 2,327.85; and Tata Motors, down 2.63 per cent at Rs 452.95.