Distinctly weak tendency prevailed for the third week in a row as the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex and the CNX Nifty plunged by another 1.5 pct to close at almost four-month low on host of negative factors during the truncated week under review.
The BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty were closed on May 1, for observing “Maharashtra Day” holiday.
Sustained withdrawal by foreign funds, lingerings tax concerns, lower-than-expected fourth quarter earnings by some key corporates so far, prediction of below normal monsoon and profit-booking by wary operators in the absence of any positive trigger continued to daunt the market sentiment.
Offloading long positions rather than rolling over to next series by operators during the week as April 30 was the last day of derivatives contract too weighed negatively.
Heavy sell-off was seen mainly in FMCG counters following forecast of below normal monsoon that might keep the main rural fraternity away from making more purchases as they continued to be major driver of the income of these companies.
As a result, the S&P BSE FMCG index was the top loser from the sectoral indices with a steep fall of 5.19 pct. Tobacco giant, ITC, was down by 7.71 pct and HUL by 4.50 pct.
Besides FMCG, metal, Oil&Gas, healthcare, consumer durable, teck and IT counters too were at the receiving end.
Contrary to the market sentiment, some of the banking, auto and power stocks were in demand on good buying support.
The BSE 30-share indicator, on the onset of the week, logged a high of 27,567.22 but, excepting Tuesday when it showed some sign of recovery, continued to remain in negative terrain to fell below 27K-mark at 26,897.54 before recovering some ground to close the week at 27,011.31, revealing a fall of 426.63 points or 1.55 pct. In straight three weeks, it has stumbled by 1,868.07 points or 6.47 per cent.
Similarly, the broader 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also moved in a range of 8,334.45 and 8,144.75 before settling the week below 8,200-mark at 8,181.50, exhibiting a net loss of 123.75 points or 1.49 pct.
Country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki amid banking majors, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank closed with sharp gains on announcement of excellent fourth quarter earnings.
The market also remained sluggish as the monsoon will now determine country’s inflation path, affecting the central bank’s decision on interest rate cycle, a broker said.
Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have dragged the government to court over the MAT levy and five of them have filed writ petitions against the Income Tax Department at the Bombay High Court.
The main market mover, FPIs sold shares a whopping Rs 7,030.42 crore during the week, including provisional figure of April 10, weighing down immensely on the market sentiment.
In the meantime, World Bank today said Indian economy has taken strong strides towards higher growth and enhanced stability, aided by a supportive external environment, in particular the sharp decline in oil and commodity prices.
World Bank projects India’s GDP to expand to 7.5 per cent in the current financial year. “Growth has accelerated, inflation has declined, the current account deficit has narrowed and external reserves have increased,” it noted.
The last day market also got affected after weak US growth data and cautious comments from the Federal Reserve. The disappointing news on the world’s biggest economy comes on top of a worrying slowdown in China and persistent fears about Europe as Greece scrambles to avoid bankruptcy.