The BSE Sensex fell 156 points to close at 35,387 on Wednesday. National Stock Exchange (NSE) benchmark index Nifty fell 60 points to settle at 10,741. Concerns on government formation in Karnataka, where no party got a clear majority in election results on Tuesday, coupled with weakness in other Asian markets kept Sensex and Nifty under pressure during Wednesday’s session, say analysts. Declines were led by a selloff witnessed in banking and energy stocks, with the NSE sectoral indices ending 1 and 1.3 per cent lower respectively.
Here are 10 things to know about Wednesday’s trading session:
- ICICI Bank shares declined 3 per cent. Shares of the country’s largest private sector bank were the top laggards on both Nifty and Sensex indices.
- Other top losers on the 50-scrip Nifty index were Cipla, UltraTech Cement, Reliance Industries and GAIL India, finishing with losses of between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent.
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) shares shed more than 12 per cent, a day after the state-run bank reported a net loss of Rs 13,417 crore in January-March quarter. That was the biggest ever by an Indian lender as the state-run bank booked provisions to cover a massive fraud.
- PNB said on Tuesday it had set aside a higher-than-required Rs 7,178 crore in the three months to March 31, or half of the total Rs 14,357 crore it owes other banks for the illegal guarantees. That led to a more than tripling of its total provisions from a year earlier to Rs 20,353 crore.
- However, buying witnessed in FMCG stocks kept the downside in check.
- HUL shares rose 3.8 per cent. Among other FMCG stocks, Colgate-Palmolive rose 2.2 per cent, and Dabur and ITC rose 1 per cent each.
- “Investors generally like a stable government and a decisive mandate is something markets always take positively,” said Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research, Motilal Oswal Securities.
- “Because of a few state elections coming up this year, expect markets to remain volatile but in the long term, things look extremely positive. There are strong indications that BJP will win the 2019 general elections,” said Sudhakar Pattabiraman, head of research operations at William O’Neil’s MarketSmith.
- Trade deficit slightly widened to $13.72 billion in April from $13.25 billion a year ago, government data showed on Tuesday. Merchandise exports for April rose 5.2 per cent to $25.9 billion from a year ago.
- Equities in other Asian markets were under pressure after North Korea cancelled high-level talks with Seoul, denouncing military exercises between South Korea and the United States, breaking from several months of easing relations on the peninsula. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 per cent.
(With agency inputs)