Benchmark indices have remained weak, amid volatile trade, on profit-booking in bank shares, weakness in the shares of metals and select index heavyweights and caution ahead of F&O expiry due tomorrow.
At 2:35PM, the 30-share Sensex was down 152 points at 27,549 and the 50-share Nifty was down 47 points at 8,276.
In the broader market, BSE midcap has performed better than front-liners with a loss of 0.4% while BSE smallcap index has underperformed with a loss of around 0.6%. Market breadth in BSE is weak with 1,826 declines against 970 advances.
Meanwhile, selling by foreign institutional investors continued unabated and they were net sellers in Indian equities worth Rs 335.24 crore on Monday, as per provisional stock exchange data.
All the sectoral indices are trading weak. BSE Metal index, down around 2%, has lost the most followed by BSE Consumer Durables and Capital Goods indices which have lost over 1% each.
Bharti Airtel has gained around 1.6%. The company awarded a three year contract to Chinese telecom maker Huawei for supply of base stations and other equipment for its 4G network in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu telecom circles.
Bajaj Auto has gained around 2%. According to media reports, Bajaj Auto plans to launch new economy motorcycles such as new self-start Platina and two more Discover variants.
NTPC has gained around 0.7%. Today, NTPC held a meeting of its Board of Directors to consider, among other things, a proposal for issuing Bonus Debentures to its members, as the Company has entered its 40th year of operations and is keen to reward its members for their continued support. The company has also emerged as the only bidder for the Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Tamil Nadu. The other seven potential bidders, all from the private sector, withdrew from the race citing regulatory issues in the bidding format.
Among financials, HDFC has lost around 1% after paring early gains. The mortage lender had gained on launching a fixed interest rate home loan product for a limited period as part of New Year celebrations to attract customers.
Other bank shares too came under pressure on profit-booking. ICICI Bank has lost more than 1% while Axis Bank is trading flat and SBI is marginally higher by 0.2%
Bank shares were trading firm in early trade on RBI new norms on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tightening the screws on bank customers who default on loans despite having the ability to repay their debts. As per new RBI norms, banks can now classify errant borrowers, particularly promoters of companies that have not repaid dues, as ‘non-cooperative’, making it difficult for them to get fresh loans. The new category is in addition to the one on wilful defaulters.
Oil and shares are trading weak. RIL and ONGC have lost more than 1% each while GAIL is trading flat.
Weakness in global commodity prices have kept the metal shares under pressure, Sesa Sterlite declined more than 3% while Tata Steel and Hindalco have lost around 2% each.
IT stocks remained under pressure after HCL Tech said that revenues for the October-December quarter would have an adverse impact of about 210 basis points (bps) on account of strengthening of US dollar against various global currencies. Infosys and Wipro have lost 1.2% and 0.4% each.
Among other shares, Gujarat Gas Company has surged 14%, also its record high on BSE, in otherwise weak market on back of heavy volumes.
Japanese markets are closed today on account of holiday. Hong Kong shares edged down on Tuesday, erasing gains from the morning session, dragged down by the financial sector. Chinese stocks have declined amid volatile trading. Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite indices ended the day lower losing 0.3% and 3% each.
European markets have opened higher on speculations that the European Central Bank is set to start buying euro government bonds and news of political stability in Greece. Meanwhile, French third-quarter GDP rose by 0.3% compared to the preceding quarter, according to the report of French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies. FTSE 100 and CAC 40 indices have gained around 0.5% each while German DAX is marginally up by 0.2%.