Mumbai: Indian stocks fell on Thursday as investors sold shares of information technology and metal companies. While positive global markets briefly helped Indian stocks turn positive, high food prices made investors wary of taking fresh positions.
India’s food price index accelerated to 9.8% for the week ended 13 August. The price gauge rose by 9.03% in the previous week. The stubbornly high food prices reminded markets of the strong inflationary pressures, leading to selling in banking stocks.
Sensex: 16,146 –0.85%
Nifty: 4,839 –1.01%
JP Associates, SAIL and HCL Technologies led the losses in Nifty shares. Information technology stocks witnessed another bout of selling pressure as UBS lowered its EPS estimates for large-cap companies by 6-10% citing increasing competition and slowing deal flows. The brokerage house downgraded Infosys to neutral from buy.
JP Associates: Rs 59 –5.2%
SAIL: Rs 105 –3.9%
HCL Technologies: Rs 372 –3.9%
Infosys: Rs 2,185 –2.9%
Meanwhile, DLF, Punjab National Bank and Ambuja Cements gained on short covering.
DLF: Rs 187 +2.8%
Punjab National Bank: Rs 1,000 +2.6%
Ambuja Cements: Rs 135 +2.5%
At the sectoral level, information technology, metals and banking stocks led the losses on the BSE. Except real estate, healthcare and FMCG, all sectoral indices closed the day with losses.
BSE IT: 4,736 –2.1%
BSE Metal: 11,571 –1.9%
BSE Bankex: 10,508 –1.4%
Fears that the Reserve Bank of India will increase policy rates again to reign in inflationary pressures have led to selling in banking stocks. Except three, all stocks in the BSE banking index closed the day with losses.
Yes Bank: Rs 268 –2.9%
Axis Bank: Rs 1,021 –2.6%
Bank of Baroda: Rs 708 –2.4%
HDFC Bank: Rs 444 –1.9%
Overall, breadth of the market continued to remain negative. About 56.52% of the shares traded on the BSE closed the day with losses.