Fresh fears over the impact of retrospective taxation rattled foreign investors and Indian markets on Monday, traders said, as stocks fell for a fourth consecutive day and the rupee hit its weakest in more than a month.
The benchmark BSE index Sensex fell as much as 2.25 percent, its biggest fall since March 26. The index provisionally ended down 1.95 percent, while the NSE Nifty index fell 1.83 percent – Sensex 555.89 pts down at 27,886.21; Nifty 157.90 pts down at 8,448.10.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had said it would move towards a tax-friendly regime to boost much needed foreign investment in India, media reports over the weekend said tax authorities have sent fresh notices to some companies including Vodafone Group.
Funds themselves are already fretting over unexpected tax bills, as asset managers receive demands for minimum alternative tax (MAT) – a form of corporate taxation on profits.
“There are funds which have received tax notices from the government. Who would bear the cost – asset managers or investors?” a fund manager with a foreign bank told Reuters.
Broad global dollar strength also added to the fall in the Indian currency.
At 0959 GMT, the partially convertible rupee was trading at 62.8250/8350 per dollar after falling to 62.9150, its lowest since March 16. The currency posted its biggest intraday fall since Dec. 16.
The rupee had closed at 62.36/37 on Friday.
There was some talk that state-owned banks had sold dollars on behalf of the central bank to cap the rupee’s fall around 62.90 levels, three traders said on Monday.
Market outlook by Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services
Market continued its correction as the Q4 numbers so far have not brought any positive surprises. With Sensex EPS expectation brought down since last month, market is concerned at downgrading of FY16E numbers by 3%-5% (Sensex EPS). In the meantime, market would also eagerly watch the second half of the Budget session which have started today. If the government successfully pass key bills like Land and GST in the ongoing session, market could see some positive momentum.
Market report: Sensex tanks
The stock market tanked today with an over 555-point plunge in the benchmark BSE Sensex to more than three-week low of 27,886.21, as heavyweights Reliance Industries (RIL) and Infosys fell sharply on earnings growth concerns, while weak global cues and fresh taxation worries added to the fall.
This was the fourth consecutive session of downtrend in the 30-share index, which has now lost around 1,160 points since crossing 29,000-levels last Monday.
Concerns by foreign investors over retrospective taxation weighed on trading sentiments, traders said.
Moreover, lower closing in other Asian markets combined with India’s exports falling 21 per cent in March to a six-year low also bogged markets.
Meanwhile, rupee also depreciated 55 paise intraday against the US dollar to 62.91.
The 50-share NSE Nifty end below 8,500-mark by losing 157.90 points or 1.83 per cent to close at 8,448.10, while moving between 8,619.95 and 8,422.75 intraday.
In a report, global brokerage firm UBS also cut its Nifty target for December this year to 9,200 from 9,600 amid slower-than-expected recovery in growth.
The bullish trend in Indian markets over the last one year was mainly driven by “positive surprise on rate cycle, lower oil prices and reforms news-flow” but hereon, actual earnings and macro data points would matter increasingly, UBS said.
“The revised target also reflects our view of the growth recovery being slower-than-expected, as is playing out in quarterly corporate results,” it added.
The 30-share Sensex opened up more than than 95 points, but on emergence of profit-booking in realty, FMCG and IT it dipped to the session’s low of 27,802.37. The barometer finally settled the day lower by 555.89 points or 1.95 per cent at 27,886.21.
RIL was the worst performer on Sensex and Nifty with 4.46 per cent plunge in its share price. It posted 8.5 per cent fourth quarter profit growth after market hours last Friday.
Out of 30 Sensex stocks, 28 ended in negative zone, while only Sun pharma and ICICI Bank managed to gain.
BSE IT index fell 2.06 per cent, led by Infosys, TCS and Wipro falling in the range of 1.84 to 2.23 per cent on earnings growth concerns.
Sectorwise, the BSE realty index suffered the most by losing 2.78 per cent, followed by FMCG 2.71 per cent, capital goods down 2.17 per cent, IT 2.08 per cent, power 2.04 per cent and oil and gas 1.91 per cent.
The BSE smallcap index fell 2.17 per cent while the midcap index ended 2.02 per cent lower.