A sell-off in global markets amid lingering concerns about weak global economic outlook prompted investors to indulge in heavy selling right through the session on the Indian bourses on Monday and resulted in the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty going down with sharp losses once again.
Worries about the financial situation in Europe amid rising fears about a Greek default took a heavy toll of stocks in the U.S. and European markets last Friday, setting up a dismal start for the Indian market this morning. Selling pressure gathered force as the session progressed with most of the markets in Asia plunging sharply and European stocks too posting big losses.
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As there were no positive news from any part of the globe, investors were unwilling to pick up stocks even at lower levels. Mirroring all-round selling, all the sectoral indices ended in the red today. The BSE benchmark Sensex, which tumbled to 16,056.33, ended the day at 16,151.45, recording a loss of 302.31 points or 1.84%. The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 4849.50 with a loss of 93.75 points or 1.9%.
Realty, metal, bank and capital goods stocks were among the worst hit in the sell-off. Consumer durables, power, information technology and FMCG stocks too mostly ended with notable losses. Select automobile stocks found some support thanks to a surge in vehicles sales in September. Pharma stocks ended on a slightly mixed note. Shares of state run oil marketing firms moved higher following a sharp drop in global crude oil prices.
Realty stock DLF ended nearly 8% down. Jindal Stel and Hindalco lost 6% and 5.4% respectively. Tata Steel lost almost 5%. Sterlite Industries, ICICI Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro, Tata Power, State Bank of India, Reliance Industries and Infosys went down by 2.2% - 4.3%.
BHEL, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, NTPC, Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto also ended notably lower.
Among the few gainers in the Sensex, Coal India and ONGC ended higher by a little over 1%. Hero Motocorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services and Cipla gained 0.6% - 0.9%, while Sun Pharmaceuticals edged up by about a quarter percent.
Nifty stocks SAIL, Axis Bank, Sesa Goa, Grasim Industries, HCL Technologies, Kotak Bank, Punjab National Bank, IDFC, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Siemens ended with sharp losses. BPCL moved up by nearly 4.5%. GAIL, ACC and Ambuja Cements also closed on a positive note.
Reliance Power, Reliance Capital and Reliance Infrastructure gained significant ground on bargain hunting after recent heavy losses. Reliance Communications ended with a modest gain.
Shipping Corporation of India went down by over 9.5%. JSW Steel plunged more than 7% following the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking information about procurement of iron ore by the company. Mundra Port, Thermax, HDIL, GE Shipping, Voltas, REC, Jain Irrigation Systems, Power Finance Corporation, Jubilant Foodworks, SKS Microfinance, Patni Computer Systems, BF Utilities, Indiabulls Financial Services, Union Bank of India, Pantaloon Retail and National Fertilizers lost 4% - 6.5%.
The market breadth was weak right through the day. Out of 2894 stocks traded on BSE, 1910 stocks declined. 876 stocks moved up and 108 stocks ended flat.
According to the data released by the Commerce Ministry, India's exports maintained their growth momentum in August, 2011, rising by 44.2% year-on-year to $24.3 billion despite the economic woes in traditional Western markets.
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Imports surged 41.8% to $38.4 billion in August, translating into a trade deficit of $14 billion during the month, as per the data. During the April-August period, India's exports grew by 54.2% to $134.5 billion, the data revealed.
Oil imports during August, 2011 surged 48.7% to $10.3 billion as compared to the corresponding period last fiscal, while non-oil imports rose to $28 billion, an expansion of 39.4% vis-a-vis the same month of 2010-11.
The mood is likely to remain bearish on Tuesday as well with no signs of a remedy to the ongoing credit crisis in Europe in sight. The next major trigger from the home front will energy in a week or two as the reporting season will start. Till then, the market is expected to dance to global tunes.
Automobile, cement and metal stocks will see plenty of action with, sales, shipments and production data providing some direction.