Sensex ends in red, banks lead losses, rupee nears 56

Absence of positive trigger, both from domestic and international front resulted in the Indian markets ending in the red. While BSE Sensex fell 0.8 percent to 17313 levels, the NSE Nifty ended the day at 5,226, down 48 points or 0.9 percent. The Indian rupee too depreciated by 23 paise to 55.88 against the US dollar.

Market participants continued to tread cautiously amid overnight losses in the US and Asian markets in the wake of disappointing economic reports. Today's decline was seen despite the HSBC services PMI for August rising to a six month high.

Reuters

The ongoing row over the alleged scam in coal block allocation continues to act as a major overhang. A weaker rupee also weighed on the sentiment for the Indian shares. Crude oil prices remain elevated in the international market, stoking worries about the swelling fuel subsidies and its impact on fiscal deficit. Meanwhile, Indian gold extended gains on Wednesday to hit a peak for the fourth consecutive day so far this month, aided by a weaker rupee, driving away importers of the metal seeking to stock up for festivals and weddings

Banking shares led the losses as ICICI Bank and Axis Bank fell on concerns of rising impaired loans and as trading volumes continue to remain low ahead of a European Central Bank meeting.

Meanwhile, the reports which got PSU OMC's in winning situation, proved to be dampener for Auto stocks. Oil Marketing companies, viz, HPCL and IOC held the fort upright on Kelkar committee reports that suggested the likelihood of petrol, diesel and LPG prices going up in next week after Finance Ministry told the Petroleum Ministry that it has no funds left to subsidise fuels. The increase could result in petrol turning costlier by Rs 4 a litre, diesel by Rs 5 and LPG by Rs 50 a cylinder.

A lot of limelight was hogged by UB group stocks, namely United Breweries, Kingfisher shares, United Spirits; United Breweries Holdings ahead of consortium of lenders to beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines met today to discuss ways forward with their exposure to the Vijay Mallya-promoted carrier.

Jindal Steel, BHEL, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, Sesa Goa, Sterlite Industries, ICICI Bank, Ranbaxy and L&T were among the notable losers in the Sensex and the Nifty.

Bharti Airtel, HUL, TCS, ONGC, ITC, HDFC, Maruti and HDFC Bank were the top gainers in the Sensex and the Nifty.