Sensex Edges Lower, Telecom Shares Witness Selloff

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Sensex ended Friday’s session on a lacklustre note while Nifty struggled for third day to settle above its important psychological level of 8,350 on the back of selloff in capital goods, oil & gas, metal, banking and FMCG shares.

The Sensex closed 75 points lower at 27,127 and Nifty declined 15 points to settle at 8,323.

Meanwhile, investors braced themselves for the start of the quarterly earnings season, with global equity markets cautiously lower ahead of US jobs data.

Markets were a bit groggy after having rallied about 19 per cent since hitting a near two-year low on Feb. 29 amid forecasts for above-normal monsoon rains after successive droughts and a recovery in company earnings in the March quarter.

Investors were also girding themselves for quarterly earnings, starting with software maker Infosys on July 15.

“Global events will keep investors restless but domestically, things have improved. So if I have to trade on Nifty, I would lighten my position ahead of the earnings but for broader markets, domestic-focussed stocks will remain of interest,” said Amar Ambani, head of research at IIFL.

Investors are now awaiting the approval of the goods and services tax (GST) bill in the upcoming session of parliament that starts on July 18 and policy measures by the new central bank chief to prop up stocks.

From the Nifty basket, 23 stocks ended higher while 28 closed lower.

GAIL India, Bank of Baroda, Bharti Infratel, BHEL, ONGC, Adani Ports, L&T and ICICI Bank were among the prominent losers. On the other hand, Tata Motors was the top gainer as investors cheered the company’s Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary June sales.

UK-based Jaguar Land Rover reported a 17 per cent jump in June sales to 46,456 units. The growth was driven by 84 per cent rise in Jaguar sales. Land Rover sales rose 3 per cent to 33,285 units, the company said.

Tata Motors shares ended 2.45 per cent higher at Rs 466.30. Asian Paints, Aurobindo Pharma, Hero MotoCorp, IndusInd Bank and Zee Entertainment were also among the gainers.

Telecom stocks such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular fell 2.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively after the Department of Telecommunication said it is in the process of issuing demand notices to six operators for a combined payment of Rs 12,000 crore in payments for “understatement of revenue” between 2006-07 to 2009-10.

Zee Learn, which runs the Kidzee chain of pre-schools, surged 8.7 per cent after its profit before tax for the June quarter more than doubled to Rs 8.01 crore.