Sensex, Nifty rise for 3rd day in a row; economic stimulus measures awaited
Mumbai, Aug. 19 (PTI): Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty on Monday rose for a third straight session but gains were restricted due to fag-end selling in financial and auto counters amid growing concerns over economic slowdown and health of NBFCs.
After rallying 369 points during the day tracking positive global cues, the 30-share Sensex settled 52.16 points, or 0.14 per cent, higher at 37,402.49. It hit an intra-day high of 37,718.88 and low of 37,358.49.
The broader NSE Nifty too edged 6.10 points, or 0.06 per cent, up at 11,053.90. During the day, it swung between a high of 11,146.90 and low of 11,037.85.
Over the past three sessions, the Sensex has gained 444.33 points, or 1.20 per cent, while the Nifty has advanced 128.05 points, or 1.17 per cent.
However, a sense of caution still prevails among investors who are awaiting some measures from the government to arrest demand slowdown in various sectors which has been pulling down the economy.
Further, lingering concerns over the health of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) made markets jittery, leading to sell-offs in financial stocks.
Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Sun Pharma, TechM, Axis Bank, L&T, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank, which rose up to 2.66 per cent.
On the other hand, Yes Bank, PowerGrid, ONGC, SBI, Mahindra and Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Asian Paints and HDFC Bank were among the major laggards — losing as much as 3.46 per cent.
Sectorally, BSE consumer durables, capital goods, industrials, healthcare, energy and IT indices ended up to 1.57 per cent higher.
While, BSE oil and gas, auto, metal and FMCG indices fell up to 0.59 per cent.
Banking stocks fell after Reserve Bank governor Shaktikanta Das ruled out ordering an asset quality review of the systematically important shadow banks for now.
The over 12,000-odd non-banking financial institutions, coupled with their housing finance peers, collectively control a quarter of the credit market, have been under severe stress following the bankruptcy of one of the largest players IL&FS group last September.
India’s economic growth has slowed to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 – the slowest pace since 2014-15, and various projections by private experts and the central bank estimate that the GDP growth in the current year will be less than government estimate of 7 per cent.
In ominous signs that the slowdown may be deep, the auto sector is facing its worst crisis in two decades with reports suggesting thousands of job losses in the automobile and ancillary industry, real estate sector has huge unsold inventory, while fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have reported a decline in volume growth.
“Global trade optimism and rebound in IT and pharma stocks provided an initial push to the market but the bulls failed to maintain the momentum due to absence of earnings growth. Industries are facing the heat of slowdown while the market is expecting a solid intervention by government to revive the economy, until such announcements volatility may continue,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index, Hang Seng, Kospi and Nikkei ended significantly higher on rising hopes of stimulus by global central banks to counter economic slowdown.
Equities in Europe were also trading on a positive note in their respective early sessions.