Sensex at two-month low; software shares drop

Sensex at two-month low; software shares drop

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) key index fell on Friday, posting its third weekly decline. Infosys Technologies Ltd led software exporters lower after housing and employment data pointed to a deepening recession in the US, the sector’s biggest market.

Infosys dropped 2.1% to its lowest in more than a week. Commodity producers sank after economists predicted China’s growth will slow further, heightening concerns that demand for raw materials will slide. Tata Steel Ltd retreated 7.2% to its lowest in more than a month.

Click here to watch video


"The news flow from the US and China is not looking good," said Ajay Bodke, who helps manage about $1 billion (Rs4,920 crore) in equities at IDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd in Mumbai. "We could see markets drifting lower."

The Sensex fell 139.49 points, or 1.6%, to 8,674.35, its lowest in two months. The index had a 7% fall this week. The S&P CNX Nifty index on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) declined 35.25 points, or 1.3%, to 2,678.55.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell 2.1% to Rs486.15, the lowest since 31 December. Infosys dropped 2.1% to Rs1,204.65. Wipro Ltd slid 2% to Rs213.55. The share prices are composite of BSE and NSE rates.

The US accounts for more than half the revenue of software developers.

The US labour department on Thursday said the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits matched the highest level since 1982 in the week ended 17 January. A separate report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed US home prices dropped the most on record.

Tata Steel fell 7.2% to Rs166.30, its lowest since 3 December. Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd slid 1.7% to Rs239.25. Hindustan Zinc Ltd declined 1.5% to Rs322.30.

A measure of six metals traded in London, including copper and zinc, declined 2.3% on Thursday. The gauge is down 53% from a year ago.

China’s economic slowdown, already the deepest in seven years, is set to worsen, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The country’s gross domestic product will grow 6.3% this quarter from a year earlier, the survey showed. The study was conducted after the government said on Thursday that the country’s economy expanded 6.8% in the fourth quarter.

Reliance Industries Ltd gained after earnings beat estimates. It added 1.8% to Rs1,156.15.