Sensex, Nifty end marginally lower

Sensex, Nifty end marginally lower

Mumbai, May 2: Benchmark indices ended a volatile session marginally lower on Thursday with IT and Pharma stocks dragging the indices down.
The Sensex dropped 50 points, or 0.13 per cent, to finish at 38,981 levels, with TATA Motors, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Infosys and HCL Tech among the biggest losers. Of the 30 constituents, 15 ended the day in green while as many were painted red.
Nifty50 failed to hold the 11,750 level and closed at 11,725 levels, down 23 points, or 0.20 per cent. About 1,053 shares advanced, 1,442 shares declined, and 163 shares remained unchanged.
India Vix rose 5.19 per cent to 22.96.
Among sectoral indices, Nifty IT index was the biggest loser, down 1.8 per cent, led by a fall in Infosys, TCS and HCL Technologies. The Nifty Media index also dipped over 1 per cent.
The broader market fared worse with the S&P BSE MidCap index tumbling 91 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 14,798, while the S&P BSE SmallCap index ended the dat at 14,593, down 31 points, or 0.21 per cent.
BUZZING STOCKS
Escorts shares dipped almost 8 per cent to Rs 58.90 after the farm equity major reported a 15 per cent decline in tractor sales to 5,264 units in April 2019. The company had sold 6,186 tractors in the same month last year. READ MORE
Jet Airways (India) shares saw a late recovery to end the day at Rs 135.40, down 11.71 per cent, after skidding 20 per cent to hit its 52-week low of Rs 123 on the BSE in early morning trade, on report that bidders have not shown interest in following up their offers for the debt-laden airline with a few days left to submit their final bids. The stock is trading close to its all-time low level of Rs 115 touched on March 12, 2009 in intra-day trade.
Ashok Leyland shares rose over 3 per cent to Rs 89.70 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), after the company reported 10 per cent rise in the domestic vehicles sales at 13,141 units in April 2019. The commercial vehicles company had sold 11,951 vehicles in domestic market during the same month last year.
Meanwhile, factory activity in the country expanded at its slowest pace in eight months in April as growth in new orders and output dipped as national elections got under way, a private business survey found.
Optimism among manufacturing firms also ebbed in April as they remain concerned about what policies the new government will adopt when it takes office by end-May.
The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 51.8 last month from March’s 52.6. It has stayed above the 50-mark separating expansion from contraction for nearly two years.
“When looking at reasons provided by surveyed companies for the (April) slowdown, disruptions arising from the elections was a key theme,” noted Pollyanna De Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit, in a release.
“Also, firms seem to have adopted a wait-and-see approach on their plans until public policies become clearer upon the formation of a government.”
Voting in India’s multi-stage election began on April 11 and will end on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.
A sub-index measuring new orders slipped to 52.9 in April from March’s 54.2, the lowest since August, due to a weaker expansion in domestic demand. That had a spillover effect on hiring, which barely increased.
The rate of increase in input costs was its weakest since September 2015 and output prices grew at a slow pace, suggesting overall inflation will remain below the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4 per cent.
“With price pressures in the manufacturing economy cooling and growth losing momentum, it’s increasingly likely that the RBI may cut its official rate for a third successive time in June,” De Lima said.
GLOBAL MARKETS
Asian markets marked time on Thursday with two major centers – Japan and China – shut for holidays while the dollar held on to overnight gains after the US central bank poured cold water on rate cut expectations.