Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Markets snap 3-day rally as profit-booking hammers IT, finance stocks

The Sensex and Nifty buckled under heavy selling pressure on Thursday as investors pocketed gains in IT, finance and bank stocks after three sessions of robust gains. Nervousness in European markets ahead of central bank meetings coupled with lacklustre macroeconomic data back home also sapped risk appetite, traders said.
The 30-share BSE Sensex plunged 770.31 points or 1.29% to finish at 58,788.02. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty lost 219.80 points or 1.24% to close at 17,560.20.
HDFC was the top laggard among the Sensex constituents, tumbling 3.23%, followed by Infosys, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra and Kotak Bank.
Only five counters closed in the green — ITC, Maruti, Titan, SBI, and Asian Paints, advancing up to 1.14%. On the macroeconomic front, India’s services sector activity moderated further in January as new business rose at a noticeably slower rate amid the escalation of the pandemic, reintroduction of restrictions and inflationary pressures, a monthly survey showed.
The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index fell to 51.5 in January, from 55.5 in December, pointing to the slowest rate of expansion in the current six-month sequence of growth.
“The domestic market extended its losses following broad-based selling as global cues turned in favour of bears. All major sectors succumbed to selling while Auto stocks showed some resistance on the back of sequential growth in auto sales numbers during January.
“US futures were under pressure following weak earnings numbers reported by Meta (Facebook) while European markets fretted about monetary policy tightening ahead of the central bank policy announcement,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking, said, “Markets have been experiencing volatile swings despite the positive bias and we expect this trend to continue… (amid) choppy global markets and prevailing earnings season.”
Barring auto and consumer durables, all BSE sectoral indices closed with losses, led by IT, teck, realty, finance, power and energy.
The BSE mid-cap and small-cap gauges shed up to 0.90 per cent.
Global markets slipped ahead of policy meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BoE) amid fears of rate hikes to control inflation.
In other Asian markets, Tokyo closed in the red, while Seoul was positive.
Several Asian markets, including China and Hong Kong, were shut for the Lunar New Year holidays.
Stock exchanges in Europe were mostly trading in the negative zone in the afternoon session.
International oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 0.65 per cent to USD 88.89 per barrel.
The rupee declined 5 paise to close at 74.88 against the US dollar, weighed by the strength of the American currency overseas.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, offloading shares worth Rs 183.60 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.

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