MUMBAI: Ahead of the March derivative contract expiry, the benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed 50 points down to nearly 10-week low of 28,111.83 on losses in capital goods, power and metal stocks, extending its string of losses to the sixth straight session.
Sensex constituents such as L&T, SBI, TCS, NTPC, ONGC, GAIL, Coal India, Tata Steel, BHEL and Tata Power suffered losses. ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Wipro, M&M and Sesa Sterlite notched up gains, cushioning the index’s drop.
Small-cap and mid-cap indices continued their decline on sustained selling by retail investors, underperforming Sensex.
Caution prevailed in markets as traders were busy carrying forward their positions to April 2015 series as the March contract is set to expire on Thursday.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed better and improved further to a high of 28,249.60 before falling back to a low of 28,031.42. It finally, closed at 28,111.83 — a loss of 49.89 points or 0.18 per cent. In straight six sessions, the Sensex has plunged by 624.55 points or 2.17 per cent. Previously, it had settled at 28,075.55 on January 15, 2015.
The broad-based 50-issue NSE Nifty also moved down further by 12.15 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 8,530.80.
“In absence of any major cues, equity benchmarks upheld their prevailing consolidation bias and closed almost unchanged on Wednesday. Adding negativity to dampened sentiments, stocks have been extremely volatility ahead of F&O expiry,” said Jayant Manglik, president-retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) picked up shares worth a net Rs 737.86 crore on Tuesday, while Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 631.67 crore, as per provisional data.
Asian stocks closed mixed with upward bias. Key indices from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea finished with gains while those from China and Taiwan ended with losses. On Wall Street On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index concluded weak.
European markets were trading lower in their late morning deals. France’s CAC was down by 0.40 per cent and Germany’s DAX by 0.22 per cent while the UK’s FTSE edged up 0.08 per cent. Major Sensex laggards On Wednesday included NTPC 3.51 per cent, Gail 2.54 per cent, L&T 2.31 per cent, Coal India 2.11 per cent, SBI 1.87 per cent, Tata Power 1.59 per cent, ONGC 1.39 per cent, Tata Steel 1.31 per cent, BHEL 1.21 per cent and TCS 0.79 per cent.
However, Tata Motors gained 1.56 per cent, ICICI Bank 1.51 per cent, Wipro 1.36 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.29 per cent, M&M 1.21 per cent and Sesa Sterlite 1.16 per cent in the Sensex.
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Capital Goods dropped 1.65 per cent, Power 1.17 per cent and Metal 0.97 per cent.
The total market breadth continued to remain weak as 1,881 stocks ended in red, 955 finished in green while 135 ruled steady. Total turnover rose to Rs 4,405.75 crore from Rs 3,053.24 crore on Tuesday.