In volatile trade, the benchmark Sensex on Thursday fell by over 72 points to a fresh one-week low on heavy selling in consumer durables, banking and power shares after rating agency S&P cautioned it could downgrade India if the next government fails to reverse the slide in GDP growth.
After gaining nearly 248 points to cross the 21,000 mark in early trade, the bluechip index ended down at 20,822.77, a drop of 72.17 points, or 0.35 per cent - the third straight loss. This the Sensex’s lowest value at closing after 20,570.28 hit on October 28.
Among the 30 Sensex constituents, 17 stocks fell led by RIL, SBI, ICICI Bank, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, GAIL India, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Tata Power and Maruti Suzuki.
Traders said investors booked profits in the intra-day upmove. ITC, HUL, Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s gained today.
“Based on our discussions with market participants, most appear to be taking into account a small but non-negligible possibility of a ratings downgrade in the coming months,” said financial major Barclays in a note.
The Sensex has now lost over 417 points in the past three days in stark contrast to the jubiliant mood after the index closed at all-time high of 21,239.36.on Sunday.
Similarly, the broader-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 27.90 points, or 0.45 per cent, to end at 6,187.25, after touching the day’s high of 6,288.95.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, fell by 23.07 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 12,393.24 at close.
The rupee also fell to the lowest level in five weeks by plummeting to 62.73 per dollar in early trade and was last trading at 62.5 levels. The weak rupee helped IT stocks like Infosys and TCS gain.
However, the broader market was in a cautious mood influenced by weak Asian cues and lower opening in Europe ahead of US economic growth data and European Central Bank rate decision.
Sectorally, BSE Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 2.62 per cent, followed by Consumer Durables (2.26 per cent), Banking (2.11 per cent) and Power (1.97 per cent). However, IT, Metal and TECk gained.