Market rally stalls after 5 days amid declines in Asian indices

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters
The BSE Sensex snapped its five-session winning run to close 144 points lower on Thursday as investors pocketed gains in bank and IT counters after the recent rally.

A weakening rupee and lacklustre global markets further weighed on sentiment, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex opened lower and stayed in the negative territory throughout the session to end at 45,959.88, down 143.62 points or 0.31 per cent.

The broader NSE Nifty ended its seven-day record-setting spree to close 50.80 points or 0.38 per cent lower at 13,478.30.

UltraTech Cement was the top loser among the Sensex constituents, tumbling 3.27 per cent, in line with other cement stocks after fair trade regulator CCI initiated a probe against cement companies for alleged anti-competitive behaviour. M&M, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance, NTPC and Reliance Industries were the other laggards, shedding up to 2.50 per cent.

On the other hand, FMCG counters led the gainers' chart, with Nestle India spurting 4.17 per cent, ITC 3.58 per cent and HUL rising 2.61 per cent. Other winners included Kotak Bank, L&T, Tata Steel and ONGC, climbing up to 1.13 per cent.

Asian markets skidded while European bourses held steady ahead of ECB's policy decision, while investors also monitored the UK-EU Brexit talks.

"After five days of bullish rally, the domestic market reversed along with Asian peers, backed by weak global markets, triggering profit booking across major sectors. PSU Banks, small and midcaps which were so positive recently were also under bearish attack...

"A sell-off was seen in the US tech stocks which led to a correction in the US market as the stimulus package talks dragged. Markets being at the highest level, any unfavourable events, domestic or global, can result in temporary profit booking. However, we believe that the market is optimistic enough to continue the rally post a required consolidation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, the BSE basic materials, power, auto, energy and utilities indices shed up to 1.35 per cent, while FMCG jumped 2.69 per cent, followed by realty (0.54 per cent), telecom (0.28 per cent) and metal (0.26 per cent). The broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices slipped up to 0.65 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday upgraded its forecast for the Indian economy, projecting 8 per cent contraction in 2020-21 as compared to 9 per cent degrowth estimated earlier, on the back of faster than expected recovery.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended in the red, while Shanghai was in the positive territory.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with gains in early deals.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.76 per cent to USD 49.23 per barrel.

The rupee snapped its two-day winning run to close 9 paise lower at 73.66 against the US dollar.

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