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Sensex gets into reverse gear on rain woes, loses 109 pts

Mumbai :The markets today rode a roller-coaster for large part of the day ahead of GDP numbers as the benchmark BSE Sensex reversed its course closing lower by over 109 points and the NSE Nifty was tucked below the 8,000-mark, mainly due to monsoon pain and a faltering rupee.

According to the GDP data, which came in after market hours, Indian economy grew at 7 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2015-16, compared with 7.5 per cent in the March quarter.

Selling intensified as the progress of monsoon remained a big uncertainty, with the El-Nino phenomenon gathering steam, which could restrict rainfall in August to September.

According to the Met Department, the country received 12 per cent less rains so far, which stoked drought fears.

In the forex market, the rupee lost ground, at 66.14 against the US dollar, which added to the selling pressure.

After hitting a high of 26,504.73, the 30-stock BSE index settled down 109.29 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 26,283.09.

The barometer had gained 677.72 points in the previous two sessions.

The NSE Nifty traded between 8,043.60 and 7,947.95 intra-day before it signed off below the 8,000-mark, falling 30.65 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7,971.30.

The sentiment turned subdued after a mixed trend in other Asian markets, with China’s index losing 0.82 per cent after a top US Fed official hinted that US inflation may move up soon, which would pave the way for an interest rate hike.

“Tracking mixed global cues, equity benchmarks made a weak start on Monday and traded range bound till the end. The sentiment was further weighed down in reaction to weakness in currency and latest report of India Meteorological Department (IMD),” said Jayant Manglik, President, Retail Distribution, Religare Securities.

On a monthly basis, the BSE Sensex plunged by 1,831.47 points, or 6.51 per cent, and the NSE Nifty 561.55 points, or 6.58 per cent.

BHEL took the biggest battering, down 3.45 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, Hindalco, ICICI Bank and RIL.

Among BSE sectoral indices, power fell the most while realty, infra, capital goods and auto shrank too.

Pharma stocks kept their head above water, with Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Lupin and Sun Pharma surging up to 3.55 per cent.

Broader markets went with the flow, with the BSE mid-cap declining 0.23 per cent and small-cap 0.20 per cent.

The day was marked by a mixed closing at other Asian markets. European stocks traded lower in the opening session.

European stocks traded lower today after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer about a likely US rate hike.

Key benchmarks in Germany and France traded down. London markets were closed on account of a holiday.

Trading in US stock futures suggested pain in store for the Dow today. Of the Sensex pack, 20 suffered losses.

The market breadth remained negative as 1,490 stocks ended lower, 1,169 stocks higher while 114 went steady. The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,199.30 crore, from Rs 3,591.07 crore last Friday.

“The market expects a US rate hike this September, augmenting the flow of money back to the dollar. China’s economy has started to slow, but the full impact of which is unknown. This is increasing the risk to all the emerging markets,” said Vinod Nair, Head, Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.