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Sensex tumbles over 130 pts, Axis Bank top loser
BT Online
New Delhi, Monday, March 20, 2017 | 08:55 IST
Sensex tumbles over 130 pts, Axis Bank top loser

3.40 PM:

MARKET CLOSING

The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 29,518.74, falling over 130.25 points.

The Nifty50 ended the day at 9,126.85, down 33.20 points.

Axis Bank was the top loser shedding over 2 per cent followed by Infosys, ICICI Bank and TCS.

Shares of IT companies plunged on reports that Cognizant may reduce at least 10,000 jobs, representing 5 per cent of its total workforce, as the company looks to shift its focus from traditional IT services to digital.

Amid the uncertainty over the H1-B visa issue, Infosys has decided not to apply for H-1B visas for junior employees.

"The company is not applying for visas for employees with under four years of experience. We are talking to clients about offshoring more work to India, and the work done by junior employees can be brought to India," said an executive from Infosys.

The company had not raised visa requests for systems engineers and senior systems engineers, among the lowest rungs in the Infosys corporate ladder.

Largecap IT stocks such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro shed up to 2 per cent on the BSE.

The shares of Idea Cellular surged as much as 15 per cent and then and then turned volatile to become the leading Nifty loser after the the merger announcement.

3.24 PM:

COMMODITIES

Gold remained in a sweet spot for the second day today as the price rose another Rs 150 to Rs 29,150 per 10 grams, making the most of a global uptrend and local jewellers' penchant for the yellow metal.

Silver played out similarly, higher by Rs 200 at Rs 41,200 per kg, on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said a firming trend overseas amid weakening of the dollar following the dovish outlook by the US Fed took the precious metal higher. Persistent buying by local jewellers added to the shine.

Globally, gold rose 0.46 per cent to USD 1,234.40 an ounce in Singapore.

(PTI)

12.30 PM:

CL Educate, which owns Career Launcher opened its initial public offer (IPO) today.

Read full story here: CL Educate IPO opens today, aims to raise Rs 239 crore

11.53 AM:

After surging nearly 15 per cent, Idea shares erased all gains and fell over 7 per cent to below Rs 100 as investors may be concerned over the pricing of the new entity.

Additionally, the reason could also be because of profit booking.

11.19 AM:

Goods and Services Tax

The Cabinet clears four supporting GST legislations; to be introduced in Parliament soon.

The Cabinet approves Compensation Law, the Central-GST (C-GST), Integrated-GST (I-GST) and Union Territory-GST (UT-GST).

GST supporting legislations to be introduced as money bill in Parliament this week.

ALSO READ: Cabinet approves GST, Ecommerce cos to pay up to 1% tax

11.10 AM:

The S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 29,517.50, shedding 131.49 points while the Nifty50 was down 9,125.45, down 34.60 points.

Dragging the market lower were the Banking stocks led by ICICI Bank that lost over 2 per cent followed by Axis Bank.

The BSE Bankex lost nearly 100 points.

Shares of Infosys also nosedived after the company said it would not to apply for H-1B visas for junior employees amid the stringent regulations governing visa's in the US.

The scrip shed over 2 per cent on the BSE.

10.20 AM:

The rupee strengthened by 9 paise to trade at 65.37 against the dollar in opening trade today on fresh selling of the US currency by exporters and banks.

A weak dollar in overseas markets and selling of the US currency by exporters and banks supported the rupee in opening trade, forex dealers said.

Further, a higher opening in the domestic equity market and strong FII inflows influenced the rupee uptrend, they added.

(PTI)

9.25 AM:

The Indian benchmark indices opened negative on Monday's trade with a large negative bias on the back of weak global cues.

The S&P BSE Senex was trading at 29,559.56, down 89.43 points while the Nifty50 was trading 9,133.10, down 26.95 points.

Infosys and ICICI Bank were the major laggards in early morning trade shedding nearly 2 per cent on the BSE.

However, Adani Ports, Hindustan Unilever and CIPLA were the top gainers.

In the biggest news, Idea-Vodafone India announced their merger today, reported by CNBC TV 18.

Vodafone will own 45 per cent of the combined entity while Idea will hold 26 per cent.

9.11 AM:

Idea-Vodafone India announce their merger, reported CNBC TV 18.

Vodafone will own 45 per cent in the combined entity and promoters of Idea will hold 26 per cent.

The shares of Idea Cellular have gained over 1 per cent in pre market opening.

ALSO READ: Idea-Vodafone announce merger; combined entity to be biggest teleco in India

9.09 AM:

EXPERT TAKE

"We reiterate that the Nifty is likely to head towards 9400 - 9600 (price extension of previous up move from recent low of 7893.80) over the next few weeks. Having said that, in between some consolidation or a profit booking (like we saw on Friday) by momentum traders cannot be ruled out. On the lower side, 9100 - 9050 levels would provide a strong support in the forthcoming week. Traders are advised to keep using such dips to create fresh longs in the market," said an Angel Broking report.

9.05 AM:

PRE OPENING UPDATES

The S&P BSE Sensex was up 48 points while Nifty was up 25 points in pre opening session. However the markets look at opening flat with a negative bias.

The Indian rupee was 65.39 against the US dollar, tracking lower global trends.

The Idea-Vodafone merger announcement could come anytime soon.

Tyre stocks gain with Apollo typres up 2.08 per cent in lead.

8.50 AM:

REUTERS REPORT

Asian stocks were slightly weaker early on Monday, following Wall Street's declines and the G20's decision to drop a pledge to avoid trade protectionism, while the Federal Reserve's seemingly dovish stance last week continued to drag the dollar lower.

Wall Street closed flat to negative on Friday, dragged lower by bank shares that fell along with Treasury yields.

Financial leaders from the world's biggest economies reiterated their warnings against competitive devaluations and disorderly foreign exchange markets at the meeting in the German town of Baden-Baden over the weekend.

But they failed to agree on a commitment to keep global trade free and open, highlighting a global shift towards protectionism.

"Essentially it's a result of the U.S. protectionist stance, something (President Donald) Trump has been very clear on and the market is well aware of this," James Woods, global investment analyst at Rivkin Securities in Sydney, said.

"Importantly we saw other leaders such as (Japanese Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe and (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel come out publicly supporting free trade, and for now the protectionist stance remains constrained to the U.S. It would be more concerning if this began spreading to other countries."

The dollar, however, didn't react to the statements from the meeting, hovering close to its near-three-week low touched on Friday. It traded 0.1 percent lower at 112.57 yen.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six trade-weighted peers, inched lower to 100.26, having touched a 5 1/2-week low on Friday.

Attention now turns to the French election, with the first Presidential debate set to take place on Monday. Opinion polls show independent centrist Emmanuel Macron would lead far-right leader Marine Le Pen by a hair in first-round voting, before beating her in the run-off.

In commodities, oil prices continued their downward trend as doubts grew about the effectiveness of OPEC cuts in containing a supply glut as US inventories continue to climb.

US crude fell 0.6 percent to $48.50 a barrel.

The weaker dollar boosted gold, which added 0.2 percent to $1,230.50 an ounce in early trade.

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