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Market ends lower for 3rd day as macroeconomic worries persist

By PTI Updated: Feb 17, 2020 9:10 pm

Mumbai, Feb. 17 (PTI): Domestic equities clocked losses for a third session in a row on Monday as worries over economic slowdown and financial impact of coronavirus outbreak continued to play in the minds of investors.

At the closing bell, the BSE gauge Sensex was down 202.05 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 41,055.69. The index swung about 390 points during the session.

The NSE barometer Nifty fell 67.75 points or 0.56 per cent to close at 12,045.80.

On the Sensex chart, ONGC led the fall with a 3.20 per cent drop after the company posted halving of its December quarter net profit.

Other top laggards on the index were Sun Pharma, NTPC, Bajaj Auto and HDFC — slipping as much as 2.37 per cent.

On the other hand, Titan, Nestle, TCS, Kotak Bank and Tata Steel emerged as major gainers, rising as much as 1.86 per cent.

Of the Sensex constituents, 19 closed in the red and 11 in the green.

Sectorally, oil and gas index fell the most (2.39 per cent), followed by utilities (2.07 per cent), power (1.76 per cent), realty (1.53 per cent) and healthcare (1.50 per cent).

In contrast, consumer durables, IT and teck emerged as gainers.

In the broader market, BSE Midcap and smallcap indices fell 0.91 per cent and 1.02 per cent, respectively.

Further weakening investor sentiment, Moody’s Investors Service has slashed India’s growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020 from 6.6 per cent projected earlier on slower-than-expected economic recovery.

Meanwhile, worries over rising death toll and the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus continued to haunt investors globally.

The coronavirus epidemic that emerged in central China has now killed nearly 1,800 people and spread around the world.

The latest figures from China show there are more than 70,000 people infected in the country.

“Domestic growth concerns seem to be back in the market as indicated by a recent downgrade by Moody’s. Banks having significant exposure in telecom players continue to be in the limelight as lack of funds could delay the payments and degrade the quality of banks balance sheet,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Continuous rise in coronavirus cases has forced major Asian peers to downgrade their growth outlook which could cause a ripple effect in other nations in the first quarter while recovery is expeced from the second, he said.

In fresh developments on the AGR matter, Vodafone Idea and Tata Group have made part payment of about INR 2,500 crore and over INR 2,190 crore, respectively, to the telecom department towards statutory dues, a government official said on Monday.

Bharti Airtel also paid INR 10,000 crore to the telecom department towards statutory dues.

Reacting to the developments, telecom stocks closed mostly lower.

Elsewhere, Asian markets closed mixed, while European bourses opened higher.

Global crude benchmark Brent was quoted trading at USD 57.28 per barrel, down 0.07 per cent.

By PTI Updated: Feb 17, 2020 9:10:51 pm