The markets fell sharply on Monday, 17 August, on a slower-than-expected global economic recovery. Metals companies led the decline after metal prices fell for a second day on the London Metals Exchange. Hero Honda lost ground on concerns that the poor monsoon will decrease rural spending – nearly 40% of Hero Honda’s sales come from rural demand. Mahindra and Mahindra and Jaiprakash Associates also lost for the day. As of Monday, the Sensex had fallen 5.7% for the month.
The Sensex got a boost on Tuesday, after a 2-day 4.7% loss, when the government said better monsoons may help make up for some of the shortfall in rain this season. The monsoon season brings in 73% of India’s annual rainfall and has been the driest in about 7 years. Hindustan Unilever and Jaiprakash Associates, had their biggest climb in 3 weeks. Bharti Airtel also climbed on news that it had many more offers from offshore banks to finance its merger with South Africa’s MTN group.
But on Wednesday, the index lost most of what it gained the previous day, after agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said kharif rice may fall by 10 million tones this year because of the drought in a third of India’s districts. Shares across various sectors, and those who rely on rural demand, took a hit. Metal producers also fell, following Chinese markets, as a measure of Chinese metals and materials producers dropped 6.6%.
The sensitive index rose on Thursday on strong global cues, as Asian markets rallied. Metal prices led the gains.
On Friday, the Sensex erased the week’s losses, again on global cues, with rises in both the Chinese and European markets.
Top gainers for the week were Hero Honda, ICICI Bank, M&M, Bharti Airtel, and ACC.
Top losers included HDFC Bank and Sun Pharmaceuticals.
The Realty index surged, followed by Auto, Telecom, IT, Banking, Small Cap, Oil and Gas, and FMCG. All other indices also ended in the green.