After a good start, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, on Monday ended a choppy session on a weak note, losing 114 points, led by heavy loss in Bharti Airtel that plunged 9.22 per cent to Rs. following its bid for Zain Telecom, amid rising inflation worries and weak global sentiment.
The record industrial production numbers could not help the market build on from Thursday’s rally beyond the opening and soon went on a downslide due to fresh selling mainly in key blue chip counters on lack of direction as well as absence of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) who were waiting for some trigger from the budget.
The barometer Sensex opened 74.45 points up on investment buying in high beta stocks and touched a high of 16227.04 but could not maintain the positive territory following high inflation data and closed 114.24 points, or 0.71 per cent down at 16038.35 after touching a low of 16011.82.
The biggest drag was the Sensex heavy-weight Bharti Airtel, as it plunged a hefty 9.22 per cent to Rs. 284.40 following its bid to takeover the Kuwaiti telco Zain’s African operations for a huge $10.7 billion reported all-cash deal.
Interestingly, when it announced its bid for the South African telco MTN last year also, the market reacted adversely to the news.
Trading volume declined to Rs. 3,428.15 crore from Rs. 3,970.92 crore last Thursday.
Rupee recovers 18 paise
The rupee on Monday appreciated by 18 paise to 46.32/33 against the U.S. dollar on the back of heavy dollar sell-off by exporters amid weak equities. It closed at 46.50/51 a dollar on Thursday last. Forex dealers said heavy dollar selling by exporters on expectations of fall in the greenback overseas helped the rupee rise.
Lack of any direction from Asia and U.S. also supported the rupee to some extent, they added.