The Sensex closed about 21 points higher today after early gains were erased due to a sell-off by participants ahead of the outcome of Karnataka assembly elections. Disappointing macroeconomic data added to the cautious mood, brokers said. Results of the Karnataka elections will be declared tomorrow, with most exit polls indicating a tight race between the ruling Congress and the BJP.
The Sensex, after a better start at 35,555.83, advanced to hit a high of 35,642 amid positive cues from other Asian bourses. However, emergence of selling at every rise wiped off initial gains and the index finally settled 20.92 points, or 0.06 per cent higher at 35,556.
The broader 50-issue NSE Nifty edged up just 0.10 points to close at 10,806, after shuttling between 10,834 and 10,774.
NTPC (2.51%) , Dr Reddy's (1.24%) and IndusInd Bank (1.07%) were the top Sensex gainers.
M&M (2.17%), Tata Motors (2%) and YES Bank (1.51%) were the top Sensex losers.
Market breadth was negative with 845 stocks closing higher against 1827 ending lower on BSE.
The Dena Bank stock fell today amid report that the Reserve Bank has initiated prompt corrective action (PCA) against the public sector lender considering high non-performing loans, restricting the bank from giving fresh credit and new hiring. The stock closed 5.96% or 1.10 points lower at 17.35 level on BSE.
"Key benchmark indices drifted higher in early trade on positive Asian cues. Domestic sentiment was also given a boost after exit polls reportedly showed the BJP could emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka. However, stocks were unable to hold on to their gains and subsequently slipped into negative territory to finally close the day near the flat line. Part of the selling pressure could be attributed to a higher inflation print and decelerating industrial production numbers. The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index, stood at 3.18% (provisional) for the month of April 2018 (over April 2017) as compared to 2.47% (provisional) for the previous month and 3.85% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Additionally, industrial production (base year 2011-12=100) moderated to five-month low of 4.4% in March 2018 over March 2017, after showing healthy growth in the range of 7% to 8.5% for the most recent four consecutive months. Sectoral performance on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was mixed. While the banking and healthcare indices witnessed gains, the auto, media and IT indices traded under pressure," Abhijeet Dey, senior fund manager, equities at BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said.
The Reliance Naval stock was among the top losers on BSE after public sector lender Vijaya Bank classified the Anil Ambani group-led Reliance Naval & Engineering, whose auditors had recently expressed doubts about the company's ability to continue as a "going concern", as non-performing asset from the March quarter.
It owes over Rs 9,000 to over two dozen banks mostly state-run, led by the troubled IDBI Bank.
Vijaya Bank said the action was necessitated by the February 12 changes that the Reserve Bank ad brought to the NPA resolution framework, which while scrapping all the existing frameworks, including debt restructuring, asked banks to consider even one-day delay in payments as default which if not cleared in 180 days should be sent to NCLT for bankruptcy proceedings.
The stock fell 13.43 percent to 14.50 on BSE. The stock opened at 16.40 points today against previous close of 16.75 level. The stock is down 70.56% since the beginning of this year.
Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,163.35 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 325.44 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.
World stocks were mixed Monday after US President Donald Trump softened his tone on trade, saying he would seek a way to keep Chinese technology company ZTE in business despite US sanctions. European markets were slightly weaker amid signs that Italy's populist parties may form a government.
France's CAC 40 dipped 0.3 percent to 5,525 and Germany's DAX lost 0.4 percent to 12,946. Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.3 percent lower to 7,702 and Italy's FTSE MIB dropped 0.7 percent to 23,994. Wall Street was poised to open higher. Dow futures advanced 0.3 percent and S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to close at 22,865.86 while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent to end at 2,476.11. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.4 percent to 31,541.08 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China added 0.3 percent to 3,174.03. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.3 percent to 6,135.30. Taiwan shares rose but Southeast Asian indexes were mixed as Malaysian shares resumed trading after last week's election. The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 1.3 percent to 1,873.07.