Domestic stock markets gave up early gains to edge lower on Monday amid choppy trade, following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comment that the government does not intend to review its overseas borrowing plan. The S&P BSE Sensex index – which opened 160.43 points higher at 38,043.22 – gave up early gains to fall as much as 148.5 points to 37,734.29, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark moved to 11,214.05, down 70.25 points from the previous close. Gains in information technology and select banking shares were offset by losses in auto, metal and pharma stocks.
Here are 10 things to know about the stock market today:
- At 12:19 pm, the Sensex traded 291 points – or 0.77 per cent – lower at 37,591.84 while the Nifty was down 112 points – or 0.99 per cent – at 11,172.75.
- In a media interview, the Finance Minister sought the central bank to cut interest rates “significantly”. She also said the increase in surcharge on foreign portfolio investments (FPI) was not intended to hurt investors.
- Analysts said the markets are expected to continue on a weak note in the near term.
- “I don’t think the markets are reacting to the Finance Minister’s comments on the government’s overseas borrowing plan… It may be 6-7 months (next Budget) before the government makes any changes on the rules on foreign portfolio investors,” AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital, told NDTV. “The markets have fallen in past few sessions and I think it will continue.”
- Market breadth favoured losses with 700 stocks trading higher on the BSE against 1,315 struggling with losses. On the NSE, 509 shares advanced while 1,192 declined.
- Top percentage laggards on the 50-scrip index at the time were Indiabulls Housing Finance, Grasim, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Vedanta, Bharti Infratel and JSW Steel, trading between 4.29 per cent and 8.01 per cent lower. HDFC Bank, HDFC and Larsen & Toubro were the top drags on Sensex.
- On the other hand, ICICI Bank shares rose as much as 4.57 per cent, after the private sector banking major reported a net profit of Rs. 1,908.03 crore for the quarter ended June 30. ICICI Bank had reported a net loss of Rs. 119.55 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.
- Analysts also said weak corporate earnings hurt investors’ sentiment. “Sentiment is quite weak. Only a few companies are coming up with good numbers this earnings season,” news agency Reuters quoted Rusmik Oza, a vice president at Kotak Securities, as saying in a report. “That is not giving very strong confidence to the market.”
- The Sensex and Nifty had declined 1.18 per cent each in the past week, with the benchmark indexes breaking a six-day losing streak – the longest stretch of losses in more than two months – on Friday.
- Meanwhile, equities in other Asian markets drifted lower as markets anxiously counted down to a likely cut in US interest rates this week with much riding on whether or not the Federal Reserve signals yet more are in the pipeline. Any signals of future rate cuts by the US central bank this week will be watched closely, say analysts