RIL, ICICI Bank, HDFC twin drag Sensex 156 points; Midcap index outperforms


Mumbai, May 16: The market ended volatile session lower on Wednesday, but recovered half of its losses amid continued uncertainty over the formation of government in Karnataka. Recovery in rupee post RBI’s likely intervention and fall in crude oil prices also supported the market.
Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and HDFC Group stocks dragged while ITC and HUL provided support to the market.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 156.06 points at 35,387.88 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 60.80 points to 10,741.10.
The Nifty Midcap index outperformed frontliners, ending below the flatline but the market breadth remained in favour of declines. About two shares fell for every share rising on the NSE.
Meanwhile, the rupee recovered sharply from day’s low of 68.13 against the US dollar after the RBI’s likely intervention. It was trading at 67.86 a dollar at 16:13 hours IST, up 25 paise from previous close.
“Even as political uncertainty continued to roil equity markets, rupee resisted weakness on the expectations of dollar selling by RBI, having tested 68. However, North geopolitical tensions have revived buying US dollar, putting pressure on emerging market currencies including the Indian rupee,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services said.
PSU Bank was the biggest loser among sectoral indices, falling 3 percent on asset quality concerns while Nifty Bank index was down over a percent.
Punjab National Bank extended previous day’s losses, down 12 percent post howler Q4. Syndicate Bank share price also dropped 12 percent after it reported a net loss of Rs 2,195.12 crore in the last quarter ended March 31, due to high bad loans that required higher provisioning.
Hindalco Industries fell over a percent after it reported a decline of 25 percent (YoY) in its profits for the March quarter at Rs 377 crore.
Indiabulls Real Estate share price gained 12 percent as board will consider share buyback proposal on May 18.
Vivimed Labs gained 2.5 percent as the firm acquired Hungarian company, SONEAS while Granules India rose 2 percent on Establishment Inspection Report from the USFDA for Jeedimetla unit in Telangana.
Reliance Communications lost over 15 percent as the National Company Law Tribunal admitted an insolvency petition filed by Ericsson against the company. Gammon Infrastructure Projects advanced 20 percent as private sector lender ICICI Bank acquired nearly 18 percent stake in the company through invocation of pledged shares.
On the global front, the oil prices were off the 3-1/2-year highs on ample supplies despite ongoing output cuts by producer cartel OPEC and looming US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran. Brent crude futures were at USD 78.01 per barrel, down 0.41 percent from their last close.
Asian and European stocks were mixed amid rising bond yields and new geopolitical uncertainty related to North Korea and the US.