Mumbai: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty today logged their biggest single-day drop in four months pulled down by a sharp 8 per cent plunge in shares of Infosys and the expiry of monthly derivative contracts. The S&P BSE Sensex tumbled nearly 322 points to finish at almost two-week low of 24,234.15 while the Nifty slipped 94 points to end at 7,235.65.
IT giant Infosys slumped 7.81 per cent to end below the crucial Rs 3,000 mark for the first time since mid-September 2013 after the resignation of President B G Srinivas, who was considered a top contender for the CEO post. The stock also turned ex-dividend today for final dividend of Rs 43 per share for the year ended March 31. Infosys, the top loser in 30-share Sensex, alone contributed more than 135 points to the barometer's fall. Besides, RIL, HDFC Bank, L&T, ONGC, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Tata Motors, Wipro, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, Coal India and Cipla also closed with marked losses.
Selling was so strong that 11 out of 12 sectoral indices closed in the red with IT, Teck, Oil&Gas, CG, Realty and power segments taking the lead in the downfall while only Healthcare index barely finished in positive terrain. Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said, “Indian equities declined as the in last three days FIIs are the net sellers of over Rs 550 crore, which has forced the market to trade weak”.
The Sensex resumed lower at 24,523.13 points and hovered in a range of 24,528.20 and 24,206.50, before settling at 24,234.15, a fall of 321.94 points or 1.31 per cent. This is its biggest fall since 426.11-point crash on January 27. This closing level is its lowest since 24,298.02 on May 21. The NSE 50-share Nifty dipped 94 points, or 1.28 per centm to end at 7,235.65. This is biggest drop since January 27 when it slid 130.90 points.
Asian stocks ended mixed today as investors weighed a worse-than-estimated drop in Japan's retail sales before a report on the US economy, say analysts.
Key benchmark indices in China,Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan moved up by 0.14 per cent to 0.47 per cent while indices in Japan and Singapore moved up 0.07-0.88 per cent. European markets were also trading narrowly mixed as indices in France and Germany eased by 0.12 per cent to 0.21 while the UK's FTSE was quoted higher by 0.21 per cent. US stocks fell yesterday after a four-day rally lifted the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to a record, as losses among retailers overshadowed gains in phone shares and utilities before a report that may show the economy contracted in the first quarter.
Turning back to the local market, 22 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower, 7 finished higher while Gail India ruled steady.
Other major losers from the Sensex pack were ONGC (2.65 per cent), Wipro (2.63 per cent), BHEL (2.23 per cent), Cipla (1.80 per cent), Coal India (1.77 per cent), L&T (1.70 per cent), HDFC Bank (1.56 per cent), RIL (1.42 per cent), ICICI Bank (1.26 per cent) and Tata Motors (1.28 per cent). Tata Power (1.08 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (1.07 per cent) also logged losses.
However, Hindalco rose by 1.43 per cent, M&M by 1.38 per cent and Dr Reddy's Lab by 1.32 per cent, among others. On Nifty outlook, Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities said : “We believe now as the derivatives expiry is over and India VIX trading at sub 17 levels, Nifty is likely to consolidate at current levels trading in a broad range of 7100-7400 levels for few days.”
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, IT fell by 3.44 per cent, followed by Teck 2.92 per cent, Oil&Gas 1.64 per cent, Capital Goods 1.49 per cent, Realty 1.37 per cent, Power 1.16 per cent and Consumer Durables 1.11 per cent. The market breadth turned negative as 1,551 stocks ended in the red, 1403 finished in the green while 103 ruled steady. Total tunrover fell to Rs 3,688.15 crore from Rs 3,954.80 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), the main market mover, sold shares worth a net Rs 286.54 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.