Disappointing Q3 results, global cues drag equities lower (Roundup)

Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) Increased chances of an upcoming US rate hike and disappointing quarterly results dragged the Indian equities markets lower on Wednesday.

The key domestic indices closed the day’s trade in the red — more than half per cent down — as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, healthcare and consumer durables’ stocks.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 67.60 points or 0.77 per cent to 8,724.70 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,270.11 points, closed at 28,155.56 points — down 183.75 points, or 0.65 per cent, from the previous close at 28,339.31 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,382.32 points and a low of 28,102.23 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 2,169 declines and 664 advances.

On Tuesday, the NSE Nifty fell by 12.75 points or 0.14 per cent to 8,792.30 points, and the BSE Sensex closed 12.31 points, or 0.04 per cent down at 28,339.31 points.

“Yesterday’s US Fed comments on increased chances of a US rate hike and disappointing Tata Motors’ earnings dragged the markets lower,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Investors will now look forward to the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council’s meet which is expected on February 18.”

On Tuesday, US Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen informed the Senate Banking Committee during a testimony that a rate hike was possible as early as March 2017.

Besides, investors’ sentiments were dampened a day after several major firms like Tata Motors, DLF and HDIL reported disappointing quarterly results.

In addition, the higher-than-expected wholesale price index (WPI) data released on Tuesday continued to hamper investors’ risk-taking appetite as it reduced the chance of further rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

However, a strengthened rupee and inflow of foreign funds arrested the downward spiral.

The Indian rupee strengthened by four paise to 66.90 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.94 to a greenback.

In terms of investments, the provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought stocks worth Rs 225.84 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) invested scrip worth Rs 248.98 crore.

Commenting on the sector-specific movement, Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, said: “Stocks’ specific selling pressure was seen in the intra-day session. IT sector stocks failed to sustain at higher levels during the second half of the session.”

“Banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, textiles, aviation and media- entertainment stocks traded with bearish sentiments.”

Among the 19 sector-specific indices of the BSE, only the FMCG index closed in the green with marginal gains of 6.69 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE automobile index plunged by 665.12 points, followed by the healthcare index, which declined by 284.96 points, and the consumer durables index slipped by 215.44 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE telecom index rose by 23.73 points, the banking index edged higher by 19.61 points, and the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index was up by 18.33 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: ITC, up 0.96 per cent at Rs 273.40; HDFC Bank, up 0.90 per cent at Rs 1,322.45; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 0.53 per cent at Rs 2,415.70; Bajaj Auto, up 0.38 per cent at Rs 2,790; and Power Grid, up 0.32 per cent at Rs 201.25.

Major Sensex losers were: Tata Motors, down 10.32 per cent at Rs 436.55; Sun Pharma, down 4.25 per cent at Rs 622.50; Tata Steel, down 2.57 per cent at Rs 460.10; Adani Ports, down 2.09 per cent at Rs 300.50; and Hero MotoCorp, down 1.99 per cent at Rs 3,098.40.