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Inflation, global cues depress equity indices; metal stocks slump

MUMBAI, July 16: Rise in wholesale inflation rate and broadly weak global cues subdued the key Indian equity indices on Monday, with the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closing below the 11,000-mark.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed on the metal, healthcare and auto stocks.
Index-wise, the broader NSE Nifty50 closed at 10,936.85 points — lower by 82.05 points or 0.74 per cent from its previous close of 11,018.90 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensex on the BSE, which had opened at 36,658.71 points, closed at 36,323.77 points — down 217.86 points or 0.60 per cent — from its previous close of 36,541.63 points. The bearish momentum on the Sensex could be gauged from the fact that its intra-day high was its opening level of 36,658.71 points. It touched a low of 36,298.94 points during the day.

“Surge in inflation and weak global cues influenced investors to book profit from the recent rally while IT index maintained the uptrend followed by earnings,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
The wholesale inflation rate for June was recorded at 5.77 per cent, compared to 4.43 per cent in the previous month, according to data released on Monday.

Abhijeet Dey, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund’s Senior Fund Manager for Equities, said: “A higher inflation rate in a flat-to-slowing growth environment can be detrimental for the economy.”

Major Asian markets closed on a negative note and the European indices like FTSE 100 and CAC 40 traded in the red, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities. Nair also said the trade tensions and weak rupee negatively impacted the performance of broad indices.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap and the S&P BSE small-cap declined significantly, by 2.45 per cent and 2.51 per cent respectively. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 2,052 declines and 546 advances. On the currency front, the rupee weakened by five paise to end at 68.58 per dollar, against the previous close of 68.53 per greenback.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 625.68 crore and the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 70.30 crore. Sector-wise, the gainers were the S&P BSE IT index and the teck (technology, entertainment and media) stocks which rose by 112.89 points and 23.91 respectively.

On the contrary, the S&P BSE metal index plunged 461.08 points, the healthcare index was down 458.49 points and the auto index ended 402.05 points lower from its previous close.

The major gainers on the Sensex were NTPC, up 1.96 per cent at Rs 155.70; Infosys, up 1.83 per cent at Rs 1,333.05; HDFC, up 0.95 per cent at Rs 1,991.55; Wipro, up 0.86 per cent at Rs 283.10; and Hindustan Unilever, up 0.73 per cent at Rs 1,753.85 per share.

The top losers were Tata Steel, down 6.96 per cent at Rs 519.30; Tata Motors (DVR), down 5.02 per cent at Rs 142.75; Tata Motors, down 4.77 per cent at Rs 251.55; Sun Pharma, down 4.69 per cent at Rs 532.95; and Bharti Airtel, down 3.31 per cent at Rs 346.20 per share. (IANS)

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