Indian equities fell in the early afternoon trade after opening higher as the shares of heavyweight company Infosys continue to drag the benchmark indices. However, blue-chip shares of Axis Bank and ICICI Bank help to trim the losses in the benchmark Sensex. Axis Bank and ICICI Bank have a huge exposure to Essar Group which completed the sale of 98.26% stake in Essar Oil today. BSE Sensex was trading 100 points lower at 31,424.35 points and NSE Nifty was 18 points down at 9,818.95 points.
The buying in metal, bank, and financial stocks have capped the losses. The shares of Infosys continue to hurt the sentiments and contributed around 85 points in Sensex down surge, other shares which are adding to the fall of 30-share barometer are Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank today said transaction of the Essar-Rosneft will help in reducing ICICI Bank’s exposure to Essar Group by about 50%. Prashant Ruia, CEO of Essar Group said the company has to repay about Rs 4,000 crore of debt to Indian lenders. Essar Group has sold 98.26% of stake in Essar Oil for $12.9 billion.
Infosys shares today fell as much as 5.18% to a 52-week low of Rs 875.2 following Friday’s 10% plunge after Vishal Sikka resigned as the chief executive and managing director on the back of a fall-out with the company’s founders. The broader Nifty 50 was down 0.29% at 9,808.85 points and the benchmark Sensex was down 0.36% at 31,411.42 points.
The Nifty Metal index rose over 2% with Vedanta rising as much as 2.7% and Hindalco Industries gaining up to 2.8%. Meanwhile, shares of Infosys’ rivals Tata Consultancy Services advanced 1.2% to Rs 2,543.2 and Tech Mahindra rose 1.9% to Rs 437, Wipro gained 1.07% to Rs 291.2 and HCL Technologies was up almost 1% to Rs 885.
Overseas, Asian markets witnessed a mixed trend amid geopolitical concerns as US-South Korea military drills begin. US equities closed off their session lows last Friday, after Steve Bannon, one of President Donald Trump’s top advisors, left the administration.