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Market at a loss for direction as Sensex ends in red


Mumbai : Sensex slipped into reverse gear today as it wiped off yesterday’s paltry gains by closing 75 points lower, with investors taking a cautious line before start of the earnings season next week amid muted overseas cues.

It was a weekly loss for the market too, with the Sensex and the Nifty losing 18.01 points (0.06 per cent) and 5.15 points (0.06 per cent), respectively.

The corporate earnings season is officially going to kick off from July 15, when Infosys is due to come out with its results.

Asia remained weak as US payroll data, which essentially serve as a pointer to the health of the American economy and are scheduled to be released on Friday, added to the level of suspense.

Despite all the global headwinds, an above-average monsoon so far and a strong chance of passage of the long-pending GST Bill in the upcoming Monsoon session are giving investors some early hopes.

Weighed down by fresh selling, mostly due to profit-booking in blue-chips, the Sensex remained in a range-bound before ending lower by 74.59 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 27,126.90. As many as 16 lost while 14 gained.

The gauge had edged up 34.62 points yesterday. The NSE Nifty closed down by 14.70 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 8,323.20.

“The market witnessed range-bound movement with negative bias as investors stayed put from making fresh long positions ahead of US job data due later on Friday. A better job data will provide an intermediate relief to the Fed from the underlying headwinds of Brexit,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Telecom stocks took heavy blows as they fell by up to almost 4 per cent, hit by concerns that DoT will soon issue demand notice of over Rs 12,500 crore to six telecom operators amid allegations of under-reporting of revenue to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore.

Bharti Airtel plunged 2.28 per cent, Idea Cellular 2.86 per cent, Reliance Communications 3.15 per cent and Tata Teleservices 3.75 per cent.

Among 30-Sensex constituents, GAIL topped the losers list by falling 2.37 per cent to Rs 375.45, followed by Adani Ports 1.59 per cent to Rs 207.05.

Adani Ports, L&T, ONGC, Lupin, Coal India, ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, RIL, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, M&M, ITC and TCS all lost by up to 1.43 per cent.

In broader markets, the BSE small-cap index edged lower by 0.17 per cent while mid-cap gained 0.11 per cent.

In terms of sectors, capital goods was the hardest hit as it fell the most by 0.99 per cent, followed by oil & gas, infrastructure, PSU and metal.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 299.51 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Asian indices ended lower. Japan’s Nikkei slumped 1.11 per cent while Hong Kong Hang Seng edged lower by 0.69 per cent. Shanghai Composite was down 0.95 per cent.

In early session, European stocks fell over the Brexit implications, which deepened over worsening health of Italian banks. London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.20 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris CAC 40 slipped 0.30 per cent each.

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