Sensex, Nifty Decline For Fifth Straight Day; Telecom Shares Worst Hit

Eleven of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE ended lower led by the S&P BSE Telecom index's over 7 per cent decline.

Sensex, Nifty Decline For Fifth Straight Day; Telecom Shares Worst Hit

The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell for fifth day in a row on Wednesday weighed down by weakness in Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Bajaj Finance and ITC. The benchmarks staged a gap up opening on the back of strong gains in HDFC Bank, Infosys and Reliance Industries. However, due to profit-booking at higher levels a day ahead of expiry of September derivative contracts led to sharp selloff in the markets, analysts said. The Sensex fell as much as 827 points from the day's highest level and Nifty touched an intraday low of 11,024.40 after hitting an intraday high of 11,259.55.

The Sensex ended 66 points or 0.17 per cent lower at 37,668 and Nifty 50 index fell 22 points to close at 11,132.

Eleven of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE ended lower led by the S&P BSE Telecom index's over 7 per cent decline. Power, information technology, oil & gas, capital goods, pharma and state-run banking shares also faced selling pressure.

On the other hand, consumer durables and select FMCG shares witnessed buying interest.

Mid- and small-cap shares ended mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.4 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index ended on a flat note.

Bharti Airtel slumped 8 per cent and Vodafone Idea plunged 10 per cent, after Reliance Jio on Tuesday launched postpaid plans starting at Rs 399 per month. Jio is offering subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus Hotstar under its postpaid plans at no additional tariff, among other benefits.

Bharti Infratel was top Nifty gainer, the stock fell 8 per cent to close at Rs 165. Tata Steel, Zee Entertainment, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Power Grid, TCS, ONGC, Adani Ports, Bajaj Finance and Hero MotoCorp also fell between 2-3.5 per cent.

On the flipside, Reliance Industries rose as much as 3 per cent after US-based KKR agreed to buy a 1.28 per cent stake in its retail arm, Reliance Retail Ventures, for Rs 5,550 crore.

Axis Bank, Coal India, GAIL India, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys were also among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,220 shares ended higher while 1,413 closed lower on the BSE.