Global cues, fund outflows, auto stocks pull equity indices down

Mumbai: The Indian equity market ended in the red on Wednesday, in line with global indices, over fears of a worldwide slowdown in economic growth.

In addition, outflows of foreign funds, a weaker rupee and profit booking led to the market slide. A key data reflecting lower manufacturing output in December in both India and China also impacted the market sentiment.

The silver lining, however, in the otherwise dismal trading session on Wednesday were the gains made by export-oriented IT stocks and low crude oil prices.

“The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December 2018 stood at 53.2, marginally lower than the 54 posted in November, though the survey showed that companies continues to scale up production and employment…on strong new business inflows,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

Sector-wise, auto counters took a beating to end 2.80 per cent lower as companies reported disappointing sales data.

The BSE Sensex settled 363.05 points or 1 per cent lower at 35,891.52 after touching an intra-day high of 36,236.70 and a low of 35,734.01 points.

The NSE Nifty50 closed at 10,792.50, up 117.60 points or 1.08 per cent.

Major markets across the globe had concluded 2018 with heavy losses. However, the Indian markets were among the best performers on account of rise in the pace of economic expansion and easing inflation.

The stocks of IT firms inched up as the rupee weakened to 70 per dollar.

Furthermore, Brent Crude price declined by over half a per cent to $53.19 per barrel.

On the currency front, the domestic currency logged an intra-day decline of 72 paise. The rupee closed at 70.17 from its previous close of 69.45 against the US dollar.

According to analysts, the weakening of rupee was rooted in fears of a global slowdown and multiple factors which have created a negative environment for investors globally.

The domestic currency was one of the worst performing currency in Asia during 2018. It lost over 9 per cent.

“Technically, with a surging Nifty, the bulls remain in control,” said Deepak Jasani, Head – HDFC Securities Retail Research.

“Further, upsides are likely once the immediate resistances of 10,985 are taken out. Crucial supports to watch for any trend reversal is at 10,807-10,850 band.”

According to the provisional figures from the stock exchanges, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 621.06 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) off-loaded Rs 226.18-crore stocks.

Stocks-wise, only six among the 30 scrips on Sensex inched up led by Sun Pharma with 1.66 per cent gains, followed by TCS. Asian Paints, Infosys, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank advanced up to 1 per cent.

In sharp contrast, Vedanta lost 4.48 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, Mahindra and Mahindra losing over 4 per cent. Tata Motors (DVR) and Tata Motors declined 3.22 and 2.91 per cent, respectively.