Sensex showed its unpredictable side again as it reversed two days of gains and dived about 232 points to close at 26,515 on Monday, pulled down by dismalfactory output data and higher oil prices amid mixed Asian indicators.
The nervousness was palpable as investors looked forward to the release of CPI inflation, to be released on Tuesday.Wholesale inflation is due on Wednesday. The broader NSE Nifty cut a sorry figure too, which cracked below the 8,200-mark. Data on Friday showed that industrial output slipped into the negative zone again with a contraction of 1.9 per cent in October, mainly due to a sharp decline in production of capital goods and poor performance of the manufacturing sector.
Sentiment further soured as IT stocks were hit by tough talk from US President-elect Donald Trump on visas while state-owned oil marketing companies declined after crude prices shot up to their highest since mid-2015. The BSE Sensex stayed in the negative zone throughout the day and touched a low of 26,468.59 before ending lower by 231.94 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 26,515.24.
The index had gained 510.31 points in the previous two sessions. The 50-share NSE Nifty slipped below the 8,200-mark to touch a low of 8,154.45, but settled at 8,170.80, down 90.95 points, or 1.10 per cent. Globally, oil soared on Monday following a landmark deal by Russia and other non-OPEC producers to join the cartel in capping output in a bid to curb a stubborn global glut that has hammered prices down.
Benchmark Brent for February contracts went up USD 2.41to USD 56.74 per barrel in Asian trade. Infosys fell as much as 1 per cent while Wipro shed 0.72per cent, but TCS inched up 0.58 per cent. Shares of the fuelretailers such as HPCL, BPCL and IOC faced selling pressureand slumped by up to 4.25 per cent. Other big losers included Bajaj Auto 2.52 per cent,Hero MotoCorp (2.29 per cent), Tata Motors (2.05 per cent),M&M (1.77 per cent) and Maruti Suzuki (1.54 per cent). Among the BSE sectoral indices, auto fell the most bydeclining 1.73 per cent followed by banking 1.67 per cent,FMCG 1.20 per cent and oil and gas 1.14 per cent.
Mid-cap and small-cap indices fell 1.11 per cent and0.73 per cent, respectively, as investors trimmed theirexposure to book profits. Meanwhile, foreign funds bought shares net worth Rs200.52 crore last Friday, as per the provisional data. In rest of Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.44 percent as investors look ahead to an expected US interest ratehike later this week. China Shanghai Composite Index fell2.47 per cent while Japan's Nikkei surged 0.84 per cent,helped by weakness in the yen against the American currency.
European markets, however, were in a better shape.London's FTSE rose 0.22 per cent, Paris gained 0.17 per centwhile Frankfurt's DAX shed 0.17 per cent. Asian Paints emerged as the top loser among the Sensex constituents by diving 3.33 per cent to Rs 910.25 followed byAxis Bank at 2.56 per cent to Rs 444.60. Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 23 scrips ended lower.