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Sensex falls 297 pts, Nifty at 3-mth low; Infosys trips 6%


The News International Team

Bears took the complete control on Dalal Street on Friday with the equity benchmarks falling more than 3-month low, largely due to selling pressure in Infosys post disappointing Q4 earnings.

The 30-share BSE Sensex lost 297.08 points or 1.07 percent to 27437.94. The 50-share NSE managed to close above 8300-mark after hitting an intraday low of 8273.35, down 93.05 points or 1.11 percent to 8305.25 – the lowest level since January 14, 2015.

The broader markets too caught in bear grip, underperforming benchmarks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down 1.6 percent and 2.66 percent, respectively. Nearly three shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Earnings disappointment may drag the market further in near term, feel experts.

According to Girish Pai of Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities, the Nifty is likely to trade in a broad range of 8000-9000 and will break the range only once there is visibility on earnings.

He expects Sensex earnings to pick up in the second half of FY16 and go to 15-20 percent compounded for years after that and market may then move back to 9000 level on the Nifty.

For the week, the Sensex and Nifty crashed 3.5 percent each while the CNX Midcap Index fell 4.6 percent. BSE IT was the biggest loser among sectoral indices, down 9.6 percent while Bank Nifty shed 1.9 percent.

Infosys disappointed with its fourth quarter numbers today. The stock plunged 6 percent as Q4 dollar revenues lagged behind all its peers but the company hopes to grow at 10-12 percent in FY16, which was higher than street estimates. CEO and MD Vishal Sikka laid down the marker, saying Infosys hopes to lead the industry by FY17. Profit in Q4 fell 4.7 percent and dollar revenues dropped 0.4 percent against estimates of 2.7 percent decline in profit and growth of 0.3 percent in revenues.

Private sector lender ICICI Bank lost over a percent and car maker Maruti Suzuki gained 2 percent ahead of March quarter earnings (to be announced on Monday).

Shares of HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, Axis Bank, Cipla, M&M, Vedanta, Wipro, Coal India and Hindalco Industries plunged 2-4 percent.

However, ONGC (up 2.6 percent), TCS (up 1.6 percent) and ITC (up 1.4 percent) were the prominent gainers on the Sensex.

Foreign institutional investors were the sellers today, offloading Rs 775.46 crore worth of equity shares while domestic institutional investors bought Rs 896.33 crore worth of shares, as per provisional data available with the exchange.

Meanwhile, the rupee ended at lowest closing level since January 6, down to 63.56 to the dollar against 63.32 a dollar in previous session.

There was a relief for foreign investors in Mauritius, Singapore and Netherlands over the minimum alternate tax row. The Central Board of Direct Taxes asked FIIs to avail benefits via double taxation avoidance agreements within one month, saying these claims will be decided expeditiously. 

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