Sensex closes at 1-week low ahead of GST debate, Europe hurts


Mumbai: Market continued to struggle for direction on Tuesday as the Sensex cracked below 28,000 to close at a one-week low as investors stayed cautious ahead of goods and service tax (GST) debate in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amid weak European cues.

Broader markets did not show enough appetite either, with the BSE small-cap and mid-cap indices ending lower by 0.83% and 0.62%, respectively.

Earlier, the market opened in the green on the back of pickup in eight core industries in June, a rise in manufacturing PMI along with rising hopes of GST Bill passage this week. The government on Monday listed the constitutional amendment Bill for GST for consideration and passage in the Upper House on Wednesday amid strong indications that the most far-reaching tax reform in independent India would be backed by the Congress and other major parties. Infrastructure sector grew at 5.2% in June, fastest in two months, mainly helped by a double-digit growth in coal and cement sectors.

India’s weather office IMD keeping its above-average forecast for June to September too gave some cheer. But that was short-lived as sentiment turned negative after European shares slipped to their two-week low in early session, mirroring a weak trend in Asia and falling crude prices, dealers said.

On the day, the Sensex resumed higher, but settled 21.41 points, or 0.08%, down at 27,981.71, a level last seen on 26 July. The gauge had lost 205.48 points in the past two sessions.

The NSE Nifty too took some blows as it dropped by 13.65 points, or 0.16%, to close at 8,622.90. It moved between 8,687.20 and 8,611.40. Tata Motors, with a loss of 2.80%, was the worst hit from the Sensex pack followed by HDFC at 2.37%.

Others that came under selling pressure included Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, GAIL, Wipro, Cipla, Lupin, Coal India, Sun Pharma, M&M and Tata Steel. However, ITC rose 3.73% followed by Maruti Suzuki (2.49%) after the company raised prices by up to Rs.20,000 across various models.

Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 18 fell while 12 gained. State-run Indian Bank soared almost 20% to Rs.186.20 after the company reported rise of about 43% in net profit for the April-June quarter. Talking of sectoral indices, metal dropped the most by 1.78%, followed by realty 1.18%, infrastructure 0.87%, power 0.84% and healthcare 0.80%.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs.726.22 on Tuesday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Key regional markets hit a soft patch as indices in Japan and Singapore fell by up to 1.47% while financial markets in Hong Kong were shut due to Nida typhoon. In Europe, France, Germany and the UK-based indices fell by up to 1.42%.