Indian markets succumbed to late-hour selling today, with THE Sensex extending losses to the ninth straight day – its longest losing streak in nearly eight years. The Sensex today ended 145 points lower at 35,352, sharply off its intraday high of 35,776. IT stocks led the decline with TCS, Infosys and Wipro falling between 2% and 3.5%. Among financials, IndusInd Bank fell 2.3% while HDFC declined 1%. Indian markets have underperformed in recent months with election jitters, steep valuations and weak earnings keeping investors away even as global markets have hit multi-month highs. (Read: Stock market investors are smiling across the world, except in India)

Here are 10 things to know about Sensex, Nifty fall today

1) IT stocks like TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra witnessing profit-booking today as these stocks had run up a lot as a defensive bet and are trading at higher valuations, said Umesh Mehta, head of research at Samco Securities.

2) For India Inc, the December quarter remained lackluster in terms of earnings growth. A Mint analysis of 2,018 listed companies (excluding banks, financial services firms and oil and gas companies) showed that aggregate profit growth, after adjusting for one-time gains or losses, was at 5.29% in the three months ended 31 December, the slowest in five quarters.

3) Many brokerages have cut their earnings per share (EPS) estimate for FY19 and FY20. “Our FY19/20 Nifty EPS estimates have been cut by 2.8/3.0% to 496/629 (prior: 510/648)," domestic brokerage Motilal Oswal said in a note.

4) Further weighing on Indian markets, global oil prices have been on a rising trend in recent months.

5) International Brent crude oil futures have moved past $66 per barrel, the highest level this year. The price of crude has gained nearly 20% this year, driven primarily by the prospect of a decline in oil supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other top exporters such as Russia.

6) India’s trade deficit for January widened to $14.7 billion, from $13.1 billion in December, largely due to higher oil prices.

7) And going ahead, domestic brokerage Edelweiss expects the trade deficit to remain high. “We expect exports to remain weak owing to weak global demand. Further, crude oil prices are now higher than in the past two months. Crude prices and global demand remain key monitorables," the brokerage said.

8) The next major support for the Nifty is seen at 10,500 and if this level is breached, markets could head further lower, says Jayant Manglik, president of Religare Broking. Participants are now eyeing the global cues like US-China trade talks and global oil prices, in absence of any major event, he added. The next round of talks between the United States and China to resolve their trade war will take place in Washington from later today, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week.

9) On the domestic front, profit-taking in private banking counters and IT majors, which were holding the benchmark index, are added negatives, he added.

10) Atul Bhole, vice-president and fund manager at DSP Investment Managers, said there were multiple factors dampening sentiment. “To begin with, Indian markets are quite expensive as compared to global peers, which is why other markets are preferred. Also, uncertainty around the elections is adding to the jitters," he said.

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