Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty settled with losses for the fourth straight session on Tuesday as the ongoing AGR issue weighed on telecom and financial stocks.
After trading in the deep red for a better part of the session, the BSE gauge Sensex reclaimed most of its lost ground towards the fag-end. At the closing bell, the index was down 161.31 points or 0.39 percent at 40,894.38.
Intra-day, the Sensex fell over 444 points and touched the day's low of 40,610.95.
#MarketAtClose | Last-hour surge helps market close the Tuesday session off lows. Nifty gains 85 points from the intra-day low of 11,908 to end near 12,000; Sensex recovers 283 points & Nifty Bank 310 points from lows pic.twitter.com/6SNiTwnPcv
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) February 18, 2020
The NSE barometer Nifty too staged a late recovery from the day's low and settled at 11,992.50, showing a fall of 53.30 points or 0.44 percent.
On the Sensex chart, Bharti Airtel was the biggest loser with nearly 3 percent drop in its share price. It was followed by IndusInd Bank, Maruti Suzuki, HeroMoto Corp and Tata Steel.
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stop the telecom department from taking any coercive steps for recovery of dues from Vodafone Idea.
Shares of Vodafone Idea on Tuesday tanked more than 16 percent in intra-day trade due to rating downgrade on AGR dues and other issues of the company.
Reliance Industries declined nearly 1 percent after it announced consolidation of all its media and distribution businesses under flagship 'Network18'.
The three group entities namely Hathway Cable & Datacom, Den Networks and TV18 Broadcast -- which would be merged into Network18 -- rose by 20 percent, 9.98 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively.
"Market sentiment continued to be hit by Covid-19 after the issue of warning note from a key global MNC regarding the sales impact. Global weakness is expected to hurt domestic market as high valuation and low economic growth is not supportive," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services commented.
Also, the huge government dues to be paid by telecom sector will keep banking stocks volatile impacting the market performance, Nair added.
In contrast, SBI, Infosys, PowerGrid, Tech Mahindra and TCS featured among major gainers.
Sectorally, BSE telecom index suffered the most by shedding over 4 percent. Other top laggards included metal, auto and realty indices.
In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap indices underperformed the benchmark, dropping by 0.6 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively.
Market breadth was negative as 1,655 stocks declined out of 2,654 scrips that traded on BSE. As many as 845 stocks advanced while 154 were unchanged.
Asian markets, barring China, closed with heavy losses after warning by Apple and HSBC over the impact of novel coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus epidemic that emerged in central China has now killed nearly 1,800 people and spread around the world.
Apple said that it might not meet its sales projections for January-March due to the outbreak. HSBC Holdings said the epidemic was impaxting its Asia business and announced shedding $100 billion in assets, trimming of its investment banking along with 35,000 job cuts in three years.
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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2020 17:43:05 IST