Mumbai: Incessant rains and a watchful mode for fresh government stimulus kept stock markets non-committal on Tuesday. Benchmark index, S&P BSE Sensex, fell 0.22% or 80.32 points to close at 36,644.42, after rising as much as 0.5% earlier in the day. The NSE Nifty 50 Index closed almost flat.
Among sectors, the Nifty Realty index slipped the most, by nearly 2%. On the contrary, auto stocks gained the most. Among Nifty stocks, Tata Motors, Coal India, ONGC, BPCL and Yes Bank were gainers, while HDFC, ICICI Bank, Indiabulls Housing, TCS and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the losers.
Sensex has lost 9.1% from this year’s peak recorded in June, as the pace of economic growth has slowed to its lowest in six years. Investor confidence remains fragile even after a slew of government measures, which includes merging 10 state-run banks into four large universal banks and easing of foreign investment rules and reversing a surcharge for overseas funds.
Nitin Gadkari, road transport and highway minister, today said the government will consider a GST cut to help the automobile sector. The government has reduced taxes on electric vehicles and it plans to do the same for hybrid vehicles, he added. Among auto stocks, Tata Motors gained 8% after its British arm Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said it plans to launch 30 new or revamped vehicles in China in the next two years.
In the currency market, rupee strengthened for the second day in a row against US dollar on Thursday, tracking emerging-market peers, as a US-China decision to hold trade parleys in October boosted risk appetite. It opened at 71.85 to a dollar, up 0.29% from its Wednesday's close of 72.12.
The 10-year bond yield inched up to 6.58%, up from its Wednesday's close of 6.55%, with the security closing at 104.71 on Thursday from previous close of 104.89. Markets are apprehensive that the government may miss the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of GDP for the current financial year. Bond yields and prices move in opposite direction.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell 1.31% to $60.60 per barrel on Thursday in line with a weak trend in overseas markets and US crude inventories rose unexpectedly, as position-taking commenced on hopes of a resolution to the US-China trade row. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.18% to $56.16.
International benchmark spot gold prices jumped to a fresh six-year high, or the highest since April 2013, yesterday due to jitters about the state of the global economy. Spot gold prices have risen more than 20% so far this year, though it fell 0.68% on Thursday to $1,542/oz.