Key Indian equity indices — the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty — witnessed further correction and closed lower by almost two per cent during the week ended Friday, as persistent outflow of foreign funds on the back of a weak rupee, coupled with geo-political risks, suppressed investors’ sentiments….writes Porisma P. Gogoi
However, the indices pared most of their losses towards the later half of the week and closed on a flat note as sentiments were buoyed by continous pumping in of funds by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and bargain hunting.
On a weekly basis, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE plunged by 638.72 points or two per cent to close at 31,283.72 points.
Similarly, the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) receded by 175.8 points or 1.76 per cent to close the week’s trade at 9,788.60 points.
“Carrying on from last week, markets continued to correct further this week. A bounce back towards the end of the week helped to curb the losses,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said.
“Sectorally, the top gainers were the metal, realty and auto indices. The top losers were the PSU banks, pharma and FMCG indices,” he added.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Indian markets snapped a seven-day losing streak on September 28 and ended with modest gains as traders covered their short positions on the eve of September series derivative expiry.
Market observers pointed out that the seven-day fall was the longest losing streak for the indices after a nine-day fall that occurred during December 13-26, 2016.
“The geo-political wave continued for yet another week, this time from Indian forces taking military action against militant’s hideouts in Myanmar,” Desai said.
D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, SMC Investments and Advisors, said: “In the week gone by, investors sold equities on the back of geo-political concerns between the US and North Korea. Strong words got exchanged between the two countries, increasing the possibility of a war-like situation.”
“Back at home, concerns pertaining to the possibility of fiscal slippage on the possibility of fiscal stimulus to boost growth receded with government announcing that it will stick to the budget plan,” Aggarwal said.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 49 paise to close the week at 65.29 to a US dollar from its previous week’s close at 64.80.
“During the week, weakness in the indices continued with rupee becoming weak and crude oil prices rising,” said Anita Gandhi, Whole Time Director at Arihant Capital Markets.
“FIIs (foreign institutional investors) continued to be net sellers in the Indian equities, however DIIs gave good support with positive flows,” Gandhi added.
Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that FIIs continued with their selling spree and off-loaded stocks worth Rs 10,896.59 crore during the week, whereas the DIIs bought scrip worth Rs 11,666.60 crore.
Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested equities worth Rs 5,899.95 crore, or $897.14 million, during September 25-29.
The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Coal India (up 6.58 per cent at Rs 270.60); ONGC (up 3.77 per cent at Rs 170.65); Bajaj Auto (up 2.16 per cent at Rs 3,105); Power Grid (up 1 per cent at Rs 211.85); and Axis Bank (up 0.98 per cent at Rs 510).
The losers were: Asian Paints (down 8.07 per cent at Rs 1,117.05); Adani Ports (down 6.01 per cent at Rs 377.15); Hindustan Unilever (down 5.20 per cent at Rs 1,175.15); Dr. Reddys Lab (down 5.18 per cent at Rs 2,329.40); and Wipro (down 4.46 per cent at Rs 280.95).