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Sensex ends 130 points lower, Nifty below 9,150; IT stocks drag

Last updated on: March 20, 2017 16:08 IST

BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap outperformed the frontline indices to gain 0.2% and 0.3%

Snapping the three-session long gaining spree, the benchmark indices settled the day lower tracking muted trend seen in Asian markets, while back home losses in Idea Cellular pulled the Nifty index down.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 29,520, down 128 points, while the broader Nifty50 closed at 9,129, down 30 points.

In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap outperformed the frontline indices to gain 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On the BSE, 1,462 shares declined and 1,358 shares rose. A total of 203 shares were unchanged.

Still, overall sentiment remains positive on hopes for additional economic reforms from the government. The Cabinet on Monday approved four bills to implement a planned Goods and Services Tax (GST), a government official said on Monday, paving the way for the country to implement the landmark tax reform from July.

But concerns about share valuations and a lack of big events are likely to keep trading rangebound, analysts said.

Sectors and stocks

Shares of Idea Cellular turned volatile and was the leading Nifty loser after the company said its board has approved the scheme of amalgamation of Vodafone India and its wholly owned subsidiary Vodafone Mobile Services with the company.

The stock rallied 15% to Rs 124 in the early trade only to settle the day 105 lower at Rs 97 on the NSE.

Shares of IT companies plunged on reports that Cognizant may reduce at least 10,000 jobs, representing 5% of its total workforce, as the company looks to shift its focus from traditional IT services to digital. IT index was the leading sectoral loser among NSE indices.

Largecap IT stocks such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro shed up to 2% on the BSE.

Among gainers, shares of tyre companies ended higher in the range of 1% to 3% after media report suggested that the Commerce Ministry will meet on March 28, to discuss anti dumping duty.

MRF, Balkrishna Industries, TVS Srichakra, Ceat, Apollo Tyres, Goodyear India and JK Tyre & Industries were up 1% to 3% in an otherwise weak market.

Poly Medicure surged 10% to Rs 633, extending its two-session long gains of 9% after the company fixed March 28, 2017 as record date for the 1:1 bonus issue. The stock will turn ex-bonus on March 24, 2017.

Cabinet approval on GST bills

The Cabinet has approved four bills to implement a planned Goods and Services Tax (GST) bills, a government official said on Monday, paving the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement the landmark tax reform from July.

The four bills are likely to be taken up by Parliament this week, and a separate state GST bill in state assemblies later, the official also said, requesting anonymity ahead of a planned news briefing.

Global markets

Taking cues from Asian markets, European markets opened lower after G20 dropped a pledge to avoid trade protectionism. The pan-European STOXX 600 edged 0.12% lower. Germany's Dax, France's CAC 40 and Britain's FTSE slipped 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

Among Asian markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.7%. Chinese shares were mixed with the CSI 300 down 0.1% while the Shanghai Composite added 0.1%.

Australian shares closed down 0.36%. South Korea ended the day 0.35% lower. Japananese markets were closed for a holiday.

Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

SI Reporter in New Delhi
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