Sensex eases a bit ahead of holiday as banks spoil mood

Mumbai: In range-bound moments, domestic equities ended the holiday-shortened week on a sour note today, bogged down by banking stocks, after a Reserve Bank’s report painted a grim picture of lender’s deteriorating asset quality and lacklustre corporate profit growth.

However, there were some good news on a weekly basis as both the leading indexes logged their second-straight weekly rise. The BSE Sensex gained 319.49 points or 1.25 per cent while the NSE Nifty went up by 99.10 points or 1.27 per cent during the four-day period.

Stock Exchanges will remain shut tomorrow on account of the Christmas holiday.

“The market ended flat with not much excitement throughout the day ahead of the long festive weekend,” said Gaurav Jain Director Hem Securities.

On the day, the 30-share BSE index settled the session lower by 11.59 points or 0.04 per cent down at 25,838.71.

The gauge had gained 259.65 points in previous session.

Nifty’s 50-issue NSE fell by 4.90 points or 0.06 per cent to 7,861.05. Intraday, it moved between 7,888.75 and 7,835.50.

Volume remained low as foreign funds and local traders preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of holiday tomorrow amid absence of any domestic cues, brokers said.

Stocks of banking companies faced selling after RBI in its report yesterday raised concerns after loan growth at Indian banks slowed in the six months period through September while bad loans rose, signalling increased risks to lenders.

Shares of ICICI Bank fell the most among Sensex stocks by dropping 1.53 per cent followed by Maruti Suzuki at 0.88 per cent.

Other major losers included ONGC, SBI, HDFC, Dr Reddy’s, Axis Bank, RIL, Infosys, HDFC Bank, HUL, Lupin and Tata Steel.

The broader markets, however, outperformed the Sensex with the small-cap and mid-cap indexes ending higher by 0.49 per and and 0.28 per cent, respectively.

In overseas stock markets, Asian and European indexes witnessed mixed trend.

Key Asian indexes like China, Japan and South Korea moved down by 0.43 per cent to 0.65 per cent while indexes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan moved looked up between 0.10 per cent and 0.49 per cent.

Key European indexes like Germany and the UK rose by 0.15 per cent to 2.28 per cent while France’s CAC was quoted lower by 0.33 per cent.
Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex, 13 ended lower

while NTPC ended unchanged at Rs 139.05.

Major gainers were Bharti Airtel (1.99 pc), GAIL (1.12 pc), Tata Motors (1 pc), Bajaj Auto (0.66 pc ), Hero MotoCorp (0.59 pc), TCS (0.54 pc), ITC (0.53 pc), Adani Ports (0.52 pc), Asian Paint (0.43 pc) and M&M (0.39 pc).

However, ICICI Bank fell by 1.53 per cent followed by Maruti 0.88 per cent, ONGC 0.62 per cent, SBI 0.54 per cent, HDFC 0.46 per cent and Dr Reddy’s 0.32 per cent.

Among the BSE sectoral indexes, telecom rose by 1.02 per cent followed by metals 0.75 per cent, utilities 0.84 per cent, industrials 0.63 per cent, power 0.67 per cent and capital goods 0.55 per cent.

While, consumer durables eased by 0.91 per cent, bankex fell 0.42 per cent and realty dropped 0.23 per cent.

The market breadth turned positive as 1,556 stocks ended higher, 1,116 closed lower, while 233 ruled steady out of the total 2,905 stocks.

The total turnover dropped to Rs 2,732.75 crore from Rs 3,048.54 crore yesterday.