Weak global cues, fund outflow pull equity indices lower

Mumbai: Weak global cues including concerns of a resurgent US-China trade war and a fall in global markets, depressed the key Indian equity indices on Wednesday.

According to market observers, heavy outflow of foreign funds also eroded investor sentiments.

The indices, however, trimmed major losses made in the afternoon session to end the day’s trade on flat-to-negative note.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which had opened at 34,876.13 points, closed at 34,906.11 points — lower by 43.13 points or 0.12 per cent from its previous close of 34,949.24 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,017.45 points and a low of 34,735.11 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bears with 1,495 declines against 1,197 advances during the day.

The broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,614.35 points — down 18.95 points or 0.18 per cent — from the previous close of 10,633.30 points.

“The weakness came on the back of weak global cues due to Italy’s political crisis and fresh fears of a trade war between US and China,” Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities, told IANS.

BNP Paribas Mutual Fund’s Senior Fund Manager for Equities, Abhijeet Dey said: “It was a volatile day on the bourses as global uncertainty and expiry of the May derivatives series this week, impacted investor sentiment and impeded the emergence of a trend.”

“Additionally, the prospect that Italy might need a fresh election that could effectively become a referendum on the nation’s inclusion in the euro zone rattled markets.”

Further, on the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 43 paise against the US dollar to 67.43, from its previous close at 67.87 per greenback.

Besides, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,286.91 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 492.46 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index gained by 33.18 points, the metal index was up 21.10 points and the utilities index rose marginally by 5.13 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index fell by 130.07 points, the healthcare index was down 101.64 points and the consumer durable index ended 95.20 points lower.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra and Mahindra, up 3.08 per cent at Rs 895.60; Coal India, up 2.34 per cent at Rs 288.75; Yes Bank, up 1.64 per cent at Rs 344; KOtak Mahindra Bank, up 1.48 per cent at Rs 1,302.15; and Hindustan Unilever, up 1.34 per cent at Rs 1,593 per share.

The top losers were Tata Motors (DVR), down 2 per cent at Rs 166.90; Tata Motors, down 1.92 per cent at Rs 288.95; ICICI Bank, down 1.86 per cent at Rs 285.25; Bajaj Auto, down 1.11 per cent at Rs 2,763.10; and Axis Bank, down 1.10 per cent at Rs 539.90 per share.