Market registered its first weekly fall in six after the Sensex today stayed on the side of caution despite deep swings as it failed to completely shake off growing concerns about US Fed action this month.
Investors looked forward to Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen’s speech to check for any confirmation on March rate increase. Both indices have recorded their first fall in six weeks. After opening lower, the Sensex continued its slide to hit a low of 28,716.21, but across-the-board buying towards the finish line saw it recover most of the day’s losses to settle lower by 7.34 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 28,832.45.
The gauge had lost 145 points in the previous session as investors booked profit after the recent run-up.
On similar lines, the wider NSE Nifty closed down 2.20 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 8,897.55, after shuttling between 8,860.10 and 8,907.10.
On a weekly basis, the BSE Sensex fell 60.52 points, or 0.20 per cent, and the Nifty 41.95 points, or 0.46 per cent, halting a five-week rising streak. Services sector activity rebounded in February for the first time since October — as was borne out by the Nikkei India Services PMI. “The market smartly reversed from its day low as investors accumulated stocks, having strong fundamentals, at attractive levels,” said Manoj Choraria , a Delhi-based NSE broker. Global cues were also weak following fresh losses at other Asian markets, in line with the global sell-off after recent rally, which had a bearing.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.49 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.64 per cent while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.36 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi sank 1.14 per cent. Stocks in Taiwan and Singapore were also down by up to 0.74 per cent. London’s FTSE was down 0.35 per cent, Paris CAC 40 0.27 per cent and Frankfurt’s DAX 0.52 per cent in their early sessions. HDFC tanked most by falling 1.89 per cent, followed by Asian Paints 1.34 per cent. As many as 16 stocks lost while 14 ended higher.
Others that lost included ITC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Bharti Airtel and TCS. The heavy-weight Reliance Industries surged 2.04 per cent, its highest level since May 2008. GAIL topped the gainers list by climbing 3.56 per cent.
Sector-wise, FMCG burnt its fingers by retreating 0.39 per cent, followed by banks, auto and capital goods, while oil & gas gained 1.12 per cent and realty rose 0.86 per cent. Stocks of sugar companies were back in the limelight, driven by 19 per cent fall in sugar production to 16.24 million tonnes during the first five months of 2016-17. Shares of Dhampur Sugar, Dwarikesh Sugar, K M Sugar, Upper Ganges Sugar and Sakthi Sugar rose by up to 11.82 per cent. Outperforming the overall trend, broader markets were in a better shape, with the small-cap index rising 0.34 per cent and mid-cap 0.23 per cent as investors raised their bets. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth net Rs 122.94 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.