MUMBAI: The benchmark BSE Sensex fell below 27,000, while Nifty weakened past 8,100, tracking weakness in the rupee that hit 13-month low against the dollar after India’s trade deficit widened.
Investor sentiment was also muted on weakness in global markets and falling international crude oil. In intra-day trade, the the 30-share Sensex shed 474 points, or 1.74%, to trade at 26,845.54 at 11:40pm, while the National Stock Exchange’s (NSE’s) broader barometer 50-share CNX Nifty dropped 136.8 points, or 1.66%, to 8,082.8. Both the indices were trading at their lowest levels since 29 October and have fallen in nine of the last 12 sessions. India’s trade deficit widened to an 18-month high at $16.86 billion in November as merchandise imports rose at a much faster pace than merchandise exports, driven mainly by skyrocketing gold imports. During the month, exports rose 7.27% to $25.96 billion, while imports increased 26.8% to $42.82 billion. Gold imports during November jumped more than sixfold to $5.6 billion.
The gainers among the Sensex stocks included Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd which rose 1% each after the rupee weakened past the 63 per dollar level. Other IT shares also rose, with HCL Technologies Ltd trading up 3.1%, Tech Mahindra Ltd 2.1%, Mindtree Ltd 1.3% and Wipro Ltd 0.5%. Among the losers, Hindalco Industries Ltd fell 6.7% to Rs.143.10 after news report said that special court rejected Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI’s) closure report on Hindalco. Sesa Sterlite Ltd dropped 5.3% to Rs.199.30. Shares of other metal and mining companies were also trading lower as HSBC flash Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for China dropped to a seven-month low renewing concerns about economic growth. Bhushan Steel Ltd fell 5.2%, NMDC Ltd fell 3.2%, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) fell 2.8%, Tata Steel Ltd fell 2.6% and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd fell 2.2%. Among the BSE sectoral indices, the IT index was the top gainer, up 1.4%, followed by the Teck index that was up 0.8%. The metal and realty Indices were the biggest losers, down 3% each, followed by consumer durables, Bankex and FMCG indices which were down 2.6%, 2.3% and 2%, respectively. The Healthcare, power and auto indices were down 1.8%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
The oil and gas and capital goods indices were down 1% each. JP Group companies were trading lower after a CNBC news report said that the company delayed repayment of fixed deposits to investors. Jaiprakash Associates Ltd fell 6.2% to Rs.23.65, Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd declined 3% to Rs.11.7, while Jaypee Infratech Ltd was down 4.3% to Rs.20. Mastek Ltd rose 8% to Rs.351.05 after the company in a notification released by Majesco (formerly known as Majesco Mastek), the insurance arm of Mastek, announced plans to merge Cover-All Technologies with itself in a 100% stock for stock transaction and plans to list Majesco on the NYSE-MKT, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd was trading at Rs.413 on BSE, up 2.2% from its previous close, after news report said that it is acquiring assets of Scherer and Trier group (S&T), Germany, for €36 million, reports The Hindu Business Line. S&T develops, manufactures extrusion profiles and other components. SpiceJet Ltd fell 11.1% to Rs.12.05 after the government allowed the company time till 15 December to furnish the dues. The government will decide on the future of SpiceJet after the budget airline, which cancelled flights and delayed paying staff this month, sought state support amid concerns it may wind down operations. The Russian central bank raised its key interest to 17% from 10.5% to halt a collapse in its currency, the biggest increase since the nation’s 1998 default, at an unscheduled meeting after the ruble fell to an all-time low, Bloomberg reported.
The US Federal Reserve will start its two-day monetary policy review on Tuesday which will decide whether to make a critical change to their policy statement that would widen the door for interest rate hikes next year, Reuters reported. Since the beginning of this year, the Sensex has gained 26.85%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $17.09 billion from local equity markets. Asian stocks fell, with the regional index at a two-month low, as oil’s slump and weaker-than-estimated Chinese manufacturing stoked concern that the global economy may falter. Russia’s ruble jumped after interest rates were raised the most since 1998, while the Indonesian rupiah tumbled, Bloomberg reported. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was down 2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.4%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.1%. Overnight US stocks ended lower in a volatile session on Monday as oil prices extended their selloff, adding to worries about weak global demand.The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.04%, S&P 500 fell 0.63%, and Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.58%.