Sensex sheds 170 points on muted earnings, Japan rout

Equities started the week on a dull note with the market benchmark Sensex tumbling to a three-week low today as a plunge in Tokyo and disappointing domestic corporate earnings along with a fall in manufacturing sector activity rattled investors.

In contrast, broader markets were in a better shape with the mid-cap and small-cap indices closing higher by 1.10 per cent and 0.39 per cent, respectively.

Falling for a second straight session, ICICI Bank emerged as the top Sensex loser, skidding 4.08 per cent to close at Rs 226.95 as the company posted its worst numbers in over a decade with net profit plunging 87 per cent in March quarter.

Investor sentiment was badly hit following heavy losses in Japanese shares, dragging the Nikkei down by 3.11 per cent, as exporters took a major hit from surging yen after BOJ took investors by surprise by deciding against fresh stimulus.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Malaysian, Singapore and Thailand remained closed for public holidays.

Housing finance major HDFC Ltd, however, perked up by 0.36 per cent on 30.76 per cent surge in consolidated net profit to Rs 3,460.46 crore for the March quarter.

“Value buying efforts were capped by India’s PMI figures released during the day, which showed manufacturing activity slowed sharply in April,” Anand James Chief Market Strategist Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

A monthly survey showed that manufacturing output grew at its slowest pace in four months in April as new orders stagnated and input costs rose sharply.

The 30-share index stayed in the negative zone throughout the day and settled 169.65 points or 0.66 per cent lower at 25,436.97 after touching a low of 25,341.14. This is the weakest closing since April 12.

The broader Nifty also succumbed to selling and slipped below the 7,800-mark in early trade to hit a low of 7,777.30 before recovering partially to close 43.90 points or 0.56 per cent down at 7,805.90.

On the other side of the spectrum, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki ended 0.91 per cent up at Rs 3,829.55 after it posted a 13.3 per cent growth in sales in April.

Shares of IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation plunged 4.51 per cent to close at Rs 1,023.80 after its net profit remained flat at Rs 579.31 crore in the three months ended March.

In Europe, most indices rose as a sharp decline in the previous session prompted investors to look for bargains. Keyindices in France and Germany rose between 0.49 per cent and 1.06 per cent.