Markets brought about their third session of fall today, buffeted by ongoing geopolitical headwinds, as the Sensex fell marginally to a three-week low of 29,414 even as wholesale inflation moderated. The Korean peninsula, Afghanistan and Syria remained geopolitical flashpoints, which cast their shadow here.
After reaching the day’s low of 29,363.28, the Sensex recovered partially before settling down 47.79 points, or 0.16 percent, at 29,413.66 — it’s the lowest closing since March 27. The gauge has now lost 374.69 points in three sessions.
The NSE Nifty also remained under pressure and was down 11.50 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 9,139.30. However, there was relief on the prices front as WPI inflation slipped to 5.70 percent in March, from 6.55 percent in February.
“Rising geopolitical tension and a tepid start to domestic earnings season dragged the indices to consolidation. Investors are waiting for more cues from upcoming quarterly results,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Broader markets outperformed the key indices.
Japanese financial services major Nomura in its report said India’s current account deficit (CAD) may widen to 1.6 percent of GDP this year, which added to nervousness, traders said.
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NTPC lost most (3.31 percent), Sun Pharma (2.18 percent), Asian Paints (1.81 per cent) and Coal India (1.77 per cent). However, GAIL rose 4.01 per cent followed by RIL 1.95 per cent, PowerGrid 1.30 percent and Dr Reddy’s 0.72 per cent, which put brakes on the slide.
Indiabulls Real Estate recorded a spectacular rally of some 40 per cent, driven by reports of restructuring of the business. Other gainers in this segment included HDIL, DLF, Godrej Properties and Unitech.
Other Asian markets moved cautiously even as Chinese economic growth data beat expectations, with geopolitical muscle-flexing weighing heavy. China’s economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, government data showed. The market was shut on Friday for Ambedkar Jayanti and Good Friday. BSE metal dropped by 1.09 percent, followed by power, technology and PSU, while realty jumped 8.82 per cent.