Nifty IT index tumbles over 5%; Tech Mahindra, NIIT Tech among top losers

Equity market was deep in the red on Friday, in line with global peers, as the rapid spread of coronavirus spooked investor sentiment. Information Technology (IT) shares were among the most hammered lot as the Nifty IT index slipped over 5 per cent or over 850 points to 15,274 levels. 

Index constituents Tech Mahindra, NIIT Tech, HCL Tech, Infosys, and Tata Elxsi slipped up to 11 per cent. In comparison, the benchmark Nifty ended at 11,201 level, down 432 points or 3.7 per cent. 

In the past one week, shares of most IT companies have slipped amid rapid spread of coronavirus. Tata Elxsi, Mindtree, HCL Technologies, and Wipro have plunged in the range of 6-8 per cent. In comparison, the Nifty index has cracked around 4 per cent while the Nifty IT has fallen over 3 per cent (as of Thursday's close.)  

Commenting on the IT sector outlook, Harit Shah, IT analyst at Reliance Securities, said there are no worries on demand front as of now. Although companies have given warnings and cautionary notes owing to the coronavirus, things are okay currently.

"However, US stocks cracked on Thursday and there are several analysts / economists who have flagged recession concerns as well...if that happens, IT won't be unaffected. But, as of now there is no change in the IT industry as the companies are continuing to invest in digital transformation," Shah added. 

Analysts at Sharekhan expect March quarter of the current fiscal (Q4FY20) to be soft owing to continued weak growth in Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), picking up of insourcing, budget constraint among disrupted retailers, Corona virus and macro concerns. 

"Weak growth in the BFSI vertical is expected to continue in the medium-term owing to slowdown in technology spends especially in capital markets and banking in US and Europe, though Infosys and Accenture indicated gradual improvement of spending in North America. As large global companies (particularly in US) operate in industries such as airlines, automobile, tech hardware, and semiconductor space generate a decent portion of revenue from China, IT companies with exposure in these verticals are likely to be exposed to risks from Corona virus," they wrote in a note dated February 26. 

The brokerage is bullish on Infosys, HCL Tech and Tech M among large-cap companies and L&T Infotech and Tata Elxsi in the mid-cap space.

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