Markets fall for second straight day amid FPI selling

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After a gap-down opening, Sensex and Nifty extended losses on Tuesday, tracking weaknesses in markets across the globe ahead of the announcement of key economic data. With Tuesday’s fall, the Sensex has fallen more than 2,000 points in the last six trading sessions, with most of the contribution coming from the HDFC twins and IT stocks, ahead of the quarterly results. 

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have continued to sell stocks for the fourth straight day since April 5. On Tuesday, FPIs offloaded shares worth Rs 3,128.39 crore, while domestic investors bought shares worth Rs 870.01 crore, provisional data from exchanges showed.

“Concerns of a slowdown in consumer spending following a rise in fuel prices ahead of earning seasons hit investors’ sentiments on Tuesday. Nifty, which post gap down opening, broke 17,600, the crucial support level. Technically, after a long time, the Nifty has closed below 10-days SMA. We are of the view that the broader market texture is still weak and any fresh uptrend rally is possible only after 17,620 breakouts. Below these levels, we could see further weakness till 17,400-17,350,” observed Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research (retail), Kotak Securities. After trading about $100-level for the last four sessions, Brent prices surged 5.7% on Tuesday, which was hovering at $104.09 per barrel. On Monday, the oil prices had even slipped below $100.

After falling 666 points intra-day on Tuesday, the Sensex closed lower by 388.20 points or 0.66% at 58,576.37, while the broader Nifty-50 ended lower by 144.65 points or 0.82% at 17,530.30. In the upcoming sessions, analysts believe that Nifty could remain in the 17,405-17,651 band. Among Sensex stocks, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro were the top losers on Tuesday. 

“Nifty closed lower for the second consecutive session on April 12 in line with other global markets. Nifty opened gap down due to weak global cues and kept falling till it made an intra-day low at 1345 hrs. A small bounce followed and the Nifty closed 0.82% or 144.7 points lower at 17530.3,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities.

Snapping its one-week rally, the broader markets also ended lower on Tuesday. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices declined 1.4% each on Tuesday due to profit booking from investors. Sector-wise, too, barring banks, all other sectors ended in the red on Tuesday. Overall, out of the 3,516 stocks traded on the BSE, 2,316 stocks declined.