India's benchmark indices fell for the first time in five days on Monday as investors weigh the potential impact of continued nationwide protests, after a week in which the benchmark index closed at a record high four times.
BSE Sensex fell 38.88 points or 0.09% to close at 41,642.66 and the Nifty 50 fell 9.05 points or 0.07% to close at 12,262.75 points.
Equity investors have until now largely shrugged off protests against a law that makes religion a criterion for citizenship. But as protests wear on and the death toll climbs, worries are building over the impact they may have at a time when the economy is slowing.
“If political disturbances continue, it would be a downside worry as the protests could start to affect aggregate demand" said Chokkalingam G, head of Equinomics Research & Advisory Pvt.
Asian markets were trading mixed. Japan's Nikkei225 index gained 0.02%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.13%. However, China's Shanghai Composite index fell 1.40% and Korea's KOSPI index fell 0.02%.
.The market breadth turned negative. On the BSE, 1123 shares rose and 1365 shares fell. A total of 207 shares were unchanged.
Among sectoral indices, BSE Energy index was the biggest loser with 1.33% followed by BSE Realty index down 0.62% and BSE FMCG index fell 0.47%. However, BSE Auto gained the most with 0.5%.
Reliance Industries Ltd fell 1.78% to close at ₹1571 after the Delhi high court on Friday ordered RIL and BG Exploration and Production India Ltd (BG), a unit of Shell India, to disclose their assets after the Centre sought to restrain them from disposing of the same.
Lux Industries Ltd fell 7.13% to close at ₹1300.90 after a block deal as 1.09 million shares or 4% stake of the company changed hands in two block deals. However details of the buyers and sellers were not known.
Reliance Infrastructure rallies 5% to ₹24.25 on debt reduction plan after a three-member arbitration tribunal unanimously gave the award in favour of Reliance Infrastructure on December 21 as the tribunal directed DVC to pay ₹896 crore and return the bank guarantees of ₹354 crore within four weeks.
Shares of Adani Green Energy were locked in 5% upper circuit at ₹142, also its new high, on the BSE on Monday on the back of heavy volumes. The trading volumes on the counter jumped 1.5 times with a combined 1.9 million equity shares changing hands on the NSE and BSE.
Crisil surged 8.98% to close at ₹1963 after the company said it will acquire a Stamford, Connecticut-based company Greenwich Associates LLC. The $40 million acquisition will be done through Crisil's subsidiary,
BASF India surged 4.54% to close at ₹1000.25 after the company's German parent signed a purchase agreement with an affiliate of Lone Star, a global private equity player, for acquisition of BASF's construction chemicals business.
Ramco Systems jumped 3.11% to close at ₹146.05 after Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO Group), announced it will work with Ramco Systems to bring the global software specialist's advanced Aviation solutions to Xiamen and Jinjiang in a filing to the exchanges.
(Bloomberg contributed to the story).