Stocks tumbled on the Indian bourses on Monday, with investors indulging in some heavy selling right through the session, amid concerns about a likely shutdown of the U.S. government due to a budget impasse. A sell-off in Asian and European markets, weak economic data from China and caution ahead of release of June quarter current account data too contributed to the decline.
Bank stocks started off on very weak note and traded lower right through the day. Capital goods, metal, realty and PSU stocks too mostly ended sharply lower. Power, oil, automobile and FMCG stocks declined as well. Consumer durables stocks lost ground too, while pharmaceuticals and information technology stocks found some support thanks to a weak rupee.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which plunged more than 400 points to 19,320.73, ended down 347.50 points or 1.76% at 19,727.27. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5735.30, slightly off the day's low of 5718.50, recording a loss of 97.90 points or 1.68%.
In the currency market, the rupee weakened against the dollar, tailing global risk-off sentiment on a potential shutdown of the US government. After opening weak, the rupee was hovering around 62.70 against the greenback, down from Friday's close of 62.51.
Among Sensex stocks, only Hindustan Unilever, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Infosys, NTPC and GAIL India ended on the positive side. While GAIL India edged up marginally and Hindustan Unilever ended up by a little over 1%, the other three stocks posted modest gains.
ACC, HCL Technologies and BPCL were the notable gainers in the Nifty index. Lupin and Cairn India edged up marginally.
Tata Steel ended lower by over 5.5%. BHEL, ICICI Bank, Coal India, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank, ITC, HDFC, ONGC, Tata Motors, Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel lost 2% - 4.5%.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp, Hindalco, State Bank of India, Sesa Goa, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Tata Consultancy Services also declined sharply.
NMDC, Jaiprakash Associates, DLF, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank and Asian Paints ended 2.5% - 5.5% down. Grasim Industries, Ultra Tech Cement, Ranbaxy Laboratories, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Bank of Baroda and Ambuja Cements also ended notably lower.
Financial Technologies plunged sharply following the Economic Offences Wing raiding the company's head quarters in Mumbai. MCX too ended with a sharp loss, hitting the lower circuit once more.
Liberty Phosphate, SKS Microfinance, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, ING Vysya Bank and Electrosteel saw some buying on stock specific news.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 2420 stocks traded on BSE, 1396 stocks declined. 889 stocks moved up and 135 stocks ended flat.