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Stock markets extended losses, falling to fresh lows on caution ahead of key macroeconomic data and December quarter results of TCS. Photo: Bloomberg
Stock markets extended losses, falling to fresh lows on caution ahead of key macroeconomic data and December quarter results of TCS. Photo: Bloomberg

Sensex, Nifty close at over one-and-a-half-year lows

The S&P BSE Sensex closes 0.58%, or 143.01 points, lower at 24,682.03, while the Nifty 50 index closes 0.71%, or 53.55 points, lower at 7,510.30

Mumbai: Equities failed to safeguard early gains, ending lower for the sixth time in seven sessions as the BSE Sensex slipped by 143 points to 24,682.03—its lowest closing in more than 19 months—on caution ahead of key macroeconomic data and quarterly numbers of IT major Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS).

With Tuesday’s plunge, the benchmark index has wiped off all the gains made since the swearing-in ceremony of the new government on 26 May 2014.

“Markets opened for the day with minor gains over yesterday’s closing and remained gripped by bears throughout the day’s trading," said Achin Goel, head of wealth management and financial planning bonanza portfolio.

The 30-share Sensex after rising over 57 points in early trade, quickly slipped into the negative terrain as investors preferred to trim positions at every rise and hit a low of 24,597.11, before settling 143.01 points, or 0.58%, lower at 24,682.03, its weakest closing since 30 May 2014.

The NSE Nifty index after cracking 7,500-mark, touched the session’s low of 7,487.80. However, fag-end buying helped the gauge to recover part of the lost ground to settle 53.55 points, or 0.71%, down at 7,510.30, its lowest close since 14 July 2014.

Sentiment was distinctly weak on a series of negative factors such as concerns over China’s growth, crude oil falling below $31 to 12-year lows and caution ahead of IIP data for December and CPI inflation for December.

Third quarterly earnings of TCS due after market closing too negatively hit sentiment, they added.

Banking, realty, metal, infrastructure, oil and gas, PSU and IT sectors were hit hardest. The broader markets too felt the heat with the BSE small-cap and mid-cap indices falling 1.03% and 0.94%, respectively.

Shares of Jet Airways, Spicejet and Interglobe were up by 3.20%, 0.74% and 0.65%, respectively, on the hopes of further cut in ATF prices, said Goel.

In Asian markets, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan dropped by 0.21% to 2.71% while China’s index inched up by 0.20%.

European shares were trading higher as stocks of retailers rose following some positive company news. Indices in France, Germany and the UK rose by 0.43% to 1.2%.

Brent crude oil futures edged lower on a stronger dollar and worries over Chinese demand. Brent for February settlement fell by 73 cents to $30.82 a barrel.

Back home, of the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 scrips ended Back home, of the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 scrips ended lower, led by Axis Bank which fell 2.67%, followed by Tata Steel (2.24%) and SBI (2.18%). Other major losers were ONGC (2.14%), Airtel (1.19%), TCS (1.65%), Tata Motors (1.55%), Hero MotoCorp (1.27%), ICICI Bank (1.11%) and GAIL (0.81%).

However, NTPC rose by 2.47% followed by Wipro 2.08%, M&M (1.59%), Adani Ports (0.94%), HUL (0.87%) and Sun Pharma (0.69%). Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, telecom fell by 1.93%, followed by bankex 1.76%, realty (1.51%), finance (1.46%), metal (0.92%), oil and gas (0.85%), teck (0.80%) and energy (0.72%).

However, consumer durables firmed up by 0.14% followed by healthcare 0.07%. The market breadth remained negative as 1,848 stocks ended lower, 941 closed higher while 165 ruled steady. The total turnover dropped to 2,643.71 crore from 2,917.95 crore Monday.

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