Losses in financial, pharma, auto and metal stocks dragged the markets lower
Domestic equity benchmarks extended losses with the S&P BSE Sensex falling for seventh session in a row and NSE Nifty 50 Index logging in sixth session of decline paced by losses in Dr. Reddy's Labs, JSW Steel, Sun Pharma, Hindalco and Vedanta. Meanwhile, weak Asian markets also added to the selling pressure in India after U.S. retail sales fell 1.2 per cent in December, their biggest drop since September 2009, raising fresh doubts about the strength of the world's largest economy.
Here are 10 things to know:
- At 1:10 pm, the Sensex fell 0.8 per cent or 288 points to 35,588 and the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 1 per cent or 103 points to 10,642.
- Dr. Reddy's Labs was the top loser in the Nifty 50 basket of shares, in intraday deals the stock slumped as much as 30 per cent after research firm Jefferies said 11 FDA observations under Form 483 on a unit of the drug firm included four repeat observations from the US FDA.
- JSW Steel, Sun Pharma, Hindalco, Vedanta, Tata Steel and Grasim Industries were also among the laggards. On the other hand, ower Grid, NTPC, Bharti Infratel and BPCL were among the notable gainers.
- Thirteen of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE were trading lower led by the S&P BSE Healthcare Index's 3.2 per cent decline. Metal, Basic Materials and Auto Indices also fell between 1.7 and 3 per cent each.
- On the flipside, S&P BSE Utilities Index was top gainer, up 2.2 per cent led by gains in NTPC and Power Grid.
- Analysts expect the weakness in the domestic markets to continue. "The forte of US economy stays in doubt after dingy US retail sales figures and the effect of weakness in Asian market can be felt in Indian market as well," said Ritesh Ashar, chief strategy officer, KIFS Trade Capital. "Prominence should be placed on trade talks between the US and China."
- Equities in other Asian markets fell on Friday after weak US retail sales figures raised doubts about the strength of the world's largest economy, offsetting optimism towards trade talks between the US and China. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which had scaled a four-month high midweek on factors including expectations for reduced US-China trade tensions, was down 0.8 per cent.
- Mid- and small-cap shares underperformed their larger peers as the S&P BSE Midcap Index dropped 1.6 per cent and the S&P BSE Smallcap Index declined 1 per cent.
- Among the individual shares, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) shares jumped as much as 5.9 per cent, after the company beat analysts' estimates by reporting a 64.8 per cent jump in net profit for the December quarter.
- Jet Airways shares jumped as much as 7.5 per cent in morning, a day after the airline said its board had approved a rescue deal which would make its lenders its largest shareholders and fix a near Rs. 8,500 crore funding gap. With debts of more than $1 billion, Jet has struggled over the last year as competition intensified, the rupee depreciated and high oil prices hurt margins.
(With agency inputs)
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