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Markets fall amid weak macro data

Sensex tanks 397 points, Nifty slips below 15,000; Bajaj Finserv tumbles 3%

Investors look to RBI cues

Investors look to RBI cues

Mumbai: Equity indices took a knock for the second straight session on Monday as lacklustre macroeconomic data and a rising trend in Covid-19 cases dented risk appetite.

A sharp jump in the rupee was not enough to shore up sentiment, traders said. After gyrating 1,035.71 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 397 points or 0.78 per cent lower at 50,395.08.

The broader NSE Nifty slumped 101.45 points or 0.67 per cent to close at 14,929.50. Banking and finance stocks bore the brunt of the losses, while the IT pack buckled the trend. Bajaj Finserv was the top loser among the Sensex constituents, shedding 2.68 per cent, followed by Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, L&T, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy's, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries. On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, HCL Tech and NTPC were among the gainers, jumping up to 2.22 per cent. According to Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities, domestic equities witnessed sharp sell-off for the second consecutive trading day as mounting concerns about resurgence of Covid-19 cases in various parts of the country and rising bond yields made investors jittery. "Further, unexpected contraction in IIP data for January 2021 and sharp spike in CPI print also weighed on sentiments," he said.

Industrial production growth re-entered the negative territory by contracting by 1.6 per cent in January, while retail inflation soared to a three-month high of 5.03 per cent in February on costlier food items, as per data released post market hours on Friday. Further, the wholesale price-based inflation rose for the second consecutive month in February to 4.17 per cent, as food, fuel and power prices spiked.

Sector-wise, BSE energy, finance, healthcare, capital goods, industrials and bankex fell up to 1.20 per cent, while metal, power, utilities and IT rose as much as 1.49 per cent. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices slipped up to 0.72 per cent. Global stocks remained firm despite elevated bond yields, while investors awaited cues from the US Federal Reserve meeting later this week.

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