After fluctuating almost 400 points, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended in the negative zone for the 7th day in a row today, down 29 points, amid investor concerns about weak manufacturing data. The 30-share Sensex opened higher, climbing to 19,569.20 on the back of better-than-expected US GDP growth and the Fed's assurance on maintaining its bond-buying programme. The index dropped after the HSBC Survey showed India's purchasing
managers index declined to 50.1 in July. A figure below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing sector activity.
The Sensex touched a one-month intra-day low of 19,170.46 before recovering some lost ground on firm cues from European markets to settle at 19,317.19, a fall of 28.51 points or 0.15 per cent.
The broader Nifty index on the NSE fell 0.25 per cent to 5,727.85. The SX40 index on the MCX-SX dropped 0.18 per cent. Growth in eight infra industries plunged to 0.1 per cent in June due to a contraction in oil, natural gas, coal and electricity output, government data showed yesterday evening.
Goldman Sachs downgraded India to 'underweight' and said it is looking for clearer growth signs to turn constructive, amid recent recent activity data being sluggish. Financial Technologies (India) Ltd., one of the promoters of the National Spot Exchange Ltd., was the biggest loser, plunging 64.6 per cent to Rs 191.75. NSEL said yesterday it had halted trading in one-day forward contracts until further notice. Market regulator Sebi is probing the share's decline.
Of the 13 sectoral indices, 12 declined, led by realty, PSU, refinery, metal and auto segments. The banking index climbed 1.2 per cent on gains in private bank shares.
On the Sensex, declines in Reliance Industries (RIL), M&M, ONGC, ITC, SBI, Coal India, BHEL, Tata Steel and Hindalco countered advances in HDFC Bank, HDFC, HUL and ICICI Bank.
"M&M was down by about 4 per cent after it announced a decline of 21 per cent in sales numbers for July," said Nidhi Saraswat, a senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd. "Global cues and quarterly results shall be closely watched for further market direction."
Asian stocks ended mostly higher, paring this week's losses, after the Federal Reserve maintained its bond-buying programme. Key indices in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea rose. Indices in France, Germany and UK firmed up in early trade.
In the domestic market, 17 Sensex