Sensex sinks 274 points; Nifty cracks below 8,400-mark

Mumbai: Turned off by a set of poor quarterly numbers, market on Friday developed cold feet as the Sensex failed to stick with its two-day winning momentum and dropped over 274 points to end at 27,035 — a nearly two-week low — as investors braced for Donald Trump’s presidency.

The broader NSE Nifty cracked below the key 8,400-mark.

Banking stocks felt the pinch, and global leads failed to pick up either.

After a lower start, the Sensex stayed in the negative space throughout and closed down 274.10 points, or 1 percent, at 27,034.50 — a level last seen on January 10. Intra-day, it hovered between 27,264.41 and 27,009.81.

The index gained 72.94 points in the last two sessions.

The Nifty too ended lower by 85.75 points, or 1.02 percent, at 8,349.35 after shuttling between 8,423.65 and 8,340.95.

On a weekly basis, both key indices recorded fall of 203.56 points, or 0.74 percent, and 51 points, or 0.60 percent, respectively.

Much of the losses in banking came from private lender Axis Bank, which plunged 6.86 percent after it reported a sharp 73 percent decline in net profit at Rs 580 crore for the December quarter yesterday.

ICICI Bank too faced selling pressure and lost 2.34 percent to end at Rs 263.40 while state-run SBI fell 2.83 percent.

“Till yesterday, third quarter results were coming marginally above expectations and the market was holding a positive view. However, a poor set of numbers led by financials has annoyed the investors which has turned them cautious,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

The caution overshadowed better-than-expected China’s fourth quarter GDP growth and Fed chair Janet Yellen taking a less hawkish stance on rate hike.

“Additionally, commodity stocks are losing their attractiveness due to consolidation ahead of the Trump swearing-in ceremony today. IT and pharma stocks will be keenly watched as the segment may be effected from the upcoming US policies,” added Nair.

Losses in Adani Ports, Tata Steel, NTPC, L&T, ONGC, Hero MotoCorp and M&M, among others, too kept the Sensex on the edge. But Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, ITC, Bajaj Auto and HDFC Bank ended higher by up to 1.31 per cent, which capped the fall.

In Asia, Hang Seng slipped 0.71 percent while Shanghai Composite rose 0.70 percent and Japan’s Nikkei 0.34 percent. Europe remained weak, with London’s FTSE falling 0.01 percent, Frankfurt 0.09 percent and Paris CAC 40 0.1 percent.

Foreign investors remained net sellers as they sold shares worth Rs 132.26 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.

Sector-wise, metal suffered the most by losing 2.37 percent, followed by infra (2.04 percent), PSU (1.97 percent), and bank (1.77 percent).

Selling pressure extended to broader markets which pushed the BSE mid-cap index down 1.54 percent and small-cap 1.27 percent. In the 30-share Sensex pack, 24 lost and 6 ended higher.

US stocks ran up losses yesterday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the fourth straight session.

The European Central Bank held rates and its bond-buying programme steady at its Thursday’s meeting. The bank’s President Mario Draghi said the governing body stood ready to intervene further, if warranted.

The market breadth turned negative as 1,850 stocks ended lower, 854 closed higher while 193 ruled steady.

The total turnover on BSE read Rs 2,574.79 crore, down from Rs 3,233.87 crore registered during the previous trading session.