Mumbai, India (BBN) – The Sensex and Nifty edged lower on Monday, snapping four consecutive sessions of gains, as caution set in ahead of the budget, although telecom providers jumped after Vodafone and Idea Cellular said they were in talks for a merger.
Broader sentiment was also hit by fears about the impact of US President Donald Trump’s immigration curbs, reports The Hindu Business Line.
The Union Government is due to present its 2017/18 Budget on Wednesday, with shares last week posting their biggest weekly gains in eight months on hopes the Government will announce incentives to ease the impact from a bold and risky gamble to outlaw high-value old currency bills.
But further caution set in on Monday, especially as Asian shares fell on worries that Trump’s ban on the entry of refugees into the US would prove destabilising for the rest of the world.
President Donald Trump introduced immigration curbs that sparked criticism at home and abroad, adding to fears that his ‘America First’ policy may prove destabilising for the rest of the world.
Trump had on Friday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The 30-share BSE index Sensex ended down 32.9 points or 0.12 per cent at 27,849.56 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty closed lower 9.5 points or 0.1 per cent at 8,632.75.
Among BSE sectoral indices, auto index fell the most by 0.88 per cent, followed by banking 0.76 per cent, PSU 0.69 per cent and power 0.58 per cent.
On the other hand, TECk index was up 0.81 per cent, healthcare 0.68 per cent and capital goods 0.00 per cent.
Top five Sensex gainers were Bharti Airtel (+7.48 per cent), Reliance (+1.85 per cent), Sun Pharma (+0.81 per cent), Asian Paints (+0.71 per cent) and Infosys (+0.66 per cent), while the major losers were Tata Motors (-2.18 per cent), Tata Steel (-1.56 per cent), ONGC (-1.42 per cent), SBI (-1.31 per cent) and Hero MotoCorp (-1.11 per cent).
Idea Cellular surged 25 per cent, its biggest daily percentage gain on record, while Bharti Airtel rose 7.5 per cent on hopes of less competition in the sector.
“Markets are a little wary of what lies in the budget and have probably have rallied too far on the assumption that some good is in the offing,” said Saurabh Jain, assistant vice-president of research at SMC Global Securities.