Mumbai, India (BBN) – The benchmark Sensex was trading down by over 110 points and the NSE Nifty below the 8,600-mark due to caution ahead of the federal budget, while the risk sentiment was hit as Asian shares fell on worries over US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.
At 2.35pm, the 30-share BSE index Sensex was down 114.93 points or 0.41 per cent at 27,734.63 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was down 49.05 points or 0.57 per cent at 8,583.70, reports The Hindu Business Line.
Barring FMCG, all other BSE sectoral indices were trading in the red. Among them, IT index fell the most by 2.98 per cent, followed by TECk 2.51 per cent, metal 1.06 per cent and infrastructure 0.95 per cent, while FMCG index was up 0.38 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were ITC (+1.21 per cent), ONGC (+0.97 per cent), HUL (+0.87 per cent), Power Grid (+0.8 per cent) and Dr Reddy’s (+0.56 per cent), while the major losers were TCS (-4.44 per cent), Adani Ports (-2.7 per cent), GAIL (-2.35 per cent), Infosys (-2.27 per cent), and Wipro (-2.16 per cent).
IT stocks slumped on worries of stricter H-1B visa rules. Nifty IT index fell as much as 5.4 per cent to itslowest in over two months, dragging down the broader NSE index.
Tech Mahindra plunged 6.2 per cent, HCL Technologies shed 4.6 per cent, Tata Consultancy Services dropped 4.6 per cent and Infosys was down 3.6 per cent.
Idea Cellular Ltd gained as much as 14.3 per cent to a more than six-month high after Vodafone Group had said on Monday it was in talks to merge its Indian unit with Idea.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp rose as much as 4.93 per cent to its highest since June 2015 after the company received first instalment from Venezuela towards recovering pending dividend.
The Union Government is then due to present its 2017/18 Budget on Wednesday, less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold and risky gamble to outlaw high-value old currency notes.
“There is a little bit of anxiety now regarding what the Economic Survey will say and what the Budget holds. So, the market is playing it safe,” said V.K. Vijayakumar, chief market strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
The Nifty and the Sensex opened flat and traded in the negative following weak global cues.
The Nifty opened four points down at 8,629, while the Sensex opened 18 points up at 27,868 before slipping in the red.
A report by IFA Global said “Asian stock markets are trading on a negative note, with Hang Seng index trading lower by 14 points and Nikkei index is trading lower by 257 points following weak global cues. US stock markets closed on a negative note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 122 points and Nasdaq index closed lower by 47 points. US equities closed lower after a new measure taken by the Trump administration on immigration sent jitters through the market.European stock markets closed on a negative note, with FTSE closed lower by 66 points and CAC lower by 55 points. European markets ended the day amid investors backlash over Trump policies.”
Sentiment remained conspicuously cautious as investors preferred to reduce their positions ahead of the Economic Survey due today and the Union Budget tomorrow.
A subdued trend in Asia coupled with a decline on the Wall Street after President Donald Trump’s controversial crackdown on immigration and his plans to overhaul work-visa programmes dampened the domestic sentiment.