The Sensex fell for the sixth straight session on Wednesday and the weak sentiment saw much of the market give up value. With 70% of companies with a market capitalisation of Rs 1,000 crore in the red since January 1, investors have had very little to cheer about.
Of the 788 companies in this universe, 320 have lost more than 20% of their value while a fourth of the companies have lost more than 25%.
The Nifty MidCap Index has given up 9% since the start of the year and 70% of its constituents have lost value. The Nifty Small Cap Index has suffered a bruising 18% since January and 80% of its members have seen a fall in prices.
The Sensex ended Wednesday’s session at 38,018.31, down 139.61 points, or 0.37%, from its previous close. The broader Nifty50 closed at 11,476.95, down 43.35 points, or 0.38%.
While shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) declined in five of the last six trading sessions, bank stocks, including HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Yes Bank have also fallen.
The combined market capitalisation of BSE has fallen by Rs 3.8 lakh crore to Rs 155.6 lakh crore over the last three days.
Bank stocks have been pummelled as investors apprehend a rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — in the wake of the weakening currency — could lead to a rise in bond yields and hurt the bond portfolios of banks.
The Bank Nifty has also ended in the red in the last six trading sessions. The rupee has declined 2.3% since August 29.
The recent fall in the benchmark indices has been triggered by a sell-off of stocks that had powered the rally of the indices. The stocks that have pulled down the Sensex are RIL, HDFC Bank and Hindustan Unilever (HUL). These three companies together have contributed close to 60% of the Sensex’s fall of 878.32 points in the last six days.
Over the six-day period, shares of HUL fell the most — 9% — followed by Yes Bank (7.4%) and RIL (7%).
The fall in index would have been much higher, had the exports-driven stocks not lent support. Among these, Wipro led the pack with a gain of 7.5% in the last six sessions. It was followed by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which rose 6.8%. While shares of Infosys rose 2.5%, TCS gained 0.6% during the same period.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth $53.5 million on Wednesday, showed provisional data on the stock exchanges, taking their year-to-date sales tally in 2018 to $449 million. This compares with the domestic institutional investors’ (DIIs) buying of a whopping $10.2 billion so far this year.
Among large-caps, Bajaj Finance is the best-performing stock in 2018 with a gain of 54.7% so far, followed by TCS, which has gained 54%, Tech Mahindra (52%) and Infosys (40.1%). Interestingly, stocks of software exporters top the list of the 10 best performers in Nifty50, thanks to an 11% depreciation in the rupee against the US dollar.