Domestic equity benchmarks the Sensex and the Nifty extended their losses into the second consecutive session on May 24, tracking weak global cues.
Concerns over rate hikes and faltering growth persisted and investors remained cautious about riskier equities.
Sensex opened with a gain of merely 19 points at 54,307.56 and swung both ways throughout the session. It eventually closed 236 points, or 0.43 percent, at 54,052.61 with 10 stocks in the green and 20 in the red. Nifty shut shop at 16,125.15, down 90 points or 0.55 percent.
“The cautious optimism seen in early trades failed to generate healthy gains as weakness in other Asian peers and pessimism in European gauges triggered last hour selling. Investors are waiting for the minutes of the US FOMC meeting, which will provide cues on the central bank's rate-hike direction going ahead. Also, there is a lot of scepticism amongst the investors over interest rate hikes in the near term and its impact on growth going ahead," said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities.
Shares of Dr Reddy's Labs (up 1.80 percent), HDFC (up 1.74 percent), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 1.35 percent), HDFC Bank (up 1.23 percent) and Power Grid (up 1.09 percent) ended as the top gainers while those of Tech Mahindra (down 3.92 percent), Hindustan Unilever (down 2.98 percent), HCL Tech (down 2.57 percent), Asian Paints (down 2.33 percent) and NTPC (down 2.10 percent) ended as the top laggards in the Sensex index.
Mid and smallcaps underperformed as the BSE Midcap index fell 0.85 percent while the smallcap index suffered a loss of 1.14 percent.
Most sectoral indices ended in the red with BSE IT, Teck, Utilities and Power falling almost 2 percent each.
Crude oil benchmark Brent Crude prices traded near the $115 a barrel mark while the rupee fell 6 paise to close at 77.59 per dollar mark.
"Anxiety of slowing economy and rising interest rates underpinned by soaring inflation continued to haunt the global market. The UK and Eurozone composite PMI registered the slowest rise in business activity in the month of May, worsening global investor risk sentiment. On the domestic front, while all major sectors succumbed to the pressure, the auto sector bucked the market trend this month gaining on fuel price cut and rise in steel custom duty," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services observed.
Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking pointed out that the indications are in the favour of further consolidation in the index so participants should focus more on a stock-specific trading approach. In absence of any major event, global cues, earnings and upcoming derivatives expiry will be in focus.
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