Relentless selling: Markets fall for sixth straight day as large stocks lose value

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Mumbai | Published: February 15, 2019 6:09:55 AM

While the broader market has been underperforming for more than a year now, even heavyweights within the benchmarks are losing value.

hdfc, bse, nse, stock marketSeveral NBFCs have resorted to selling pledged shares and are monetising smaller businesses to free up cash. Economists see the economy slowing as local liquidity remains limited and global growth slows.

While the broader market has been underperforming for more than a year now, even heavyweights within the benchmarks are losing value. Two-thirds of the stocks in the Nifty 50 have given up ground since January 2019 and about 60% of them have posted negative returns since January 2018. Again, nearly 80% of the BSE-500 companies have lost value since the beginning of 2018. Bharti Airtel has been the biggest loser in the Nifty 50 since January 2018 and the market capitalisation of the telecom major has eroded by Rs 91,480 crore. The stock closed at `301.05 on Thursday on BSE, down 3.1%.

Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and ONGC are the other big losers with each having given up over Rs 80,000 crore in market value.

Apart from poor earnings growth in all three quarters of 2018-19, so far corporate governance issues are beginning to take a toll on stocks. The liquidity shortage at NBFCs is threatening to hurt companies as many of them have borrowed from these lenders by pledging promoter shares. With global growth slowing and local demand subdued, corporate profits are unlikely to grow meaningfully, say analysts.

Investments by the private sector remain subdued.

The Sensex continued its downtrend for the sixth straight session on Thursday to mark its biggest losing streak since September, 2018. While the Sensex gave up 157.89 points to close at 35,876.22 points, the broader Nifty50 lost 47.60 points or 0.44% to end the day at 10,746.05 points.

However, the underperformance of a larger number of stocks has hardly been reflected in the main indices as the rally is being powered by a handful of stocks, including RIL, Infosys, HDFC Bank, TCS and HDFC.

They have contributed about 870 points to the Nifty rally of 215.35 points since January 2018 with the most remaining constituents giving negative returns.

Several NBFCs have resorted to selling pledged shares and are monetising smaller businesses to free up cash. Economists see the economy slowing as local liquidity remains limited and global growth slows.

The subdued demand for consumer durables in the last festival season is evidence, they say, of the absence of purchasing power. Moreover, the rising number of non-financial companies facing a liquidity crisis is causing concern and is expected to slow growth further.

Also read: Is cash really back after demonetisation? No. Here’s what currency circulation tells about Indian economy

“Lower oil prices have created a positive environment for India, but we are downbeat on the economic outlook as we expect the economy to transition from a growth sweet-spot in 2018 to a soft patch in 2019,”economists at Nomura wrote recently. “In particular, we expect the slowdown to worsen in H1 2019 to around 6.2%, from a peak of 8.2% in Q2 2018 before staging a recovery to 7.2% in Q4 2019, “they added.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) have bought equities worth $418.2 million so far in 2019 after remaining net sellers for most part of 2018. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth $220 million after purchasing whopping $15.6 billion last year.

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