Sensex, Nifty start on choppy note; IT, bank stocks decline

Mumbai: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty opened on a choppy note on Tuesday, tracking weakness in index heavyweights Infosys, ICICI Bank and HCL Tech amid a negative trend in global markets.

After swinging over 200 points in the opening session, the 30-share Sensex was trading 34.62 points or 0.06 per cent lower at 60,101.16. Similarly, the Nifty slipped 2.45 points or 0.01 per cent to 17,943.50.

HCL Tech was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by M&M, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance and IndusInd Bank.

On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Titan, Dr Reddy’s, SBI and ITC were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the 30-share index closed 76.72 points or 0.13 per cent higher at 60,135.78, and Nifty rose 50.75 points or 0.28 per cent at its all-time closing high of 17,945.95.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,303.22 crore on Monday, as per exchange data.

According to V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, the resilience of the market in general, and the momentum in the broader market in particular, can be explained only by one factor – the exuberance and dominance of the newbie retail investors.

Institutional selling is easily getting absorbed by retail investors who are not concerned about valuations, he noted.

Weakness in IT and strength in banking which expectedly played out in the previous session need not become a trend. Results of Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech may not disappoint the market like TCS, he said, adding that results of TCS were good – only fell short of market expectations.

“Now, INR at 75.35 to the dollar is becoming a major tailwind for IT. So, investors should remain invested in IT and even buy on declines since the demand environment for the sector remains robust. Crude at USD 84 and its potential inflation fall out are areas of concern,” he stated.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Stock exchanges in the US too ended on a negative note in the overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.07 per cent to USD 83.59 per barrel.