Key benchmark indices hit fresh intraday low in mid-afternoon trade as selling pressure intensified. At 14:16 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 38.67 points or 0.12% at 31,885.74. The Nifty 50 index was down 21.70 points or 0.22% at 9,995.25.
The Sensex was trading below the psychologically important 32,000 mark. The Sensex and the Nifty, both declined in afternoon trade after hitting their highest intraday levels in more than two weeks in morning trade.
The Sensex fell 86.24 points, or 0.27% at the day's low of 31,838.17 in mid-afternoon trade, its lowest intraday level since 9 October 2017. The index rose 174.05 points, or 0.55% at the day's high of 32,098.46 in morning trade, its highest intraday level since 22 September 2017. The Nifty fell 38.65 points, or 0.39% at the day's low of 9,978.30 in mid-afternoon trade, its lowest intraday level since 9 October 2017. The index rose 50.30 points, or 0.50% at the day's high of 10,067.25 in mid-morning trade, its highest intraday level since 22 September 2017.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On BSE, 1,684 shares fell and 975 shares rose. A total of 109 shares were unchanged. The breadth was strong earlier during the session.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel was up 4.39% at Rs 400.90. The company and Karbonn Mobiles, a popular Indian smartphone brand, announced a partnership to bring an affordable 4G smartphone to the market, effectively at the price of a feature phone. Under the partnership, the Karbonn A40 Indian now comes at an effective price of just Rs 1,399 (compared to its current market price of approximately Rs 3499). The Google Certified Karbonn A40 Indian has a full touch screen plus dual SIM slots, and offers complete access to all apps on Google Play Store.
The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 11 October 2017.
Telecom tower infrastructure provider Bharti Infratel was up 2.47% to Rs 410.10 on media reports that a consortium led by US buyout fund KKR and comprising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Singapore is in discussions to acquire Indus Towers and telecom tower company Bharti Infratel for $11 billion.
As the first step, Bharti Infratel will buy out either all or almost the entire 58% shareholding of other partners Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Providence Equity Partners in Indus Towers, reports added. Bharti Infratel currently owns 42% in Indus Towers, which has a portfolio of 1.23 lakh towers, as per reports. Bharti Airtel held 50.33% stake in Bharti Infratel as per the shareholding pattern as on 30 June 2017.
Reports suggested that Vodafone is likely to retain 8-10% stake in Indus Towers to enjoy any future upside. Bharti Infratel has the right of first refusal on Vodafone and Idea's stakes in Indus Towers, reports added.
FMCG shares were mixed. Bajaj Corp (up 2.05%), Tata Global Beverages (up 1.49%), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.23%), Britannia Industries (up 0.15%), Dabur India (up 0.06%) and Nestle India (up 0.02%), edged higher. Colgate Palmolive (India) (down 0.05%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (down 0.17%), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (down 0.35%), Marico (down 0.65%), Jyothy Laboratories (down 0.85%) and Godrej Consumer Products (down 1.5%), edged lower.
Auto stocks were mixed. Ashok Leyland (down 1.23%), Maruti Suzuki India (down 0.88%), Eicher Motors (down 0.68%), Escorts (down 0.59%) and Tata Motors (down 0.54%), edged lower. TVS Motor Company (up 0.17%), Hero MotoCorp (up 0.34%), Bajaj Auto (up 1.38%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (up 1.59%), edged higher.
On the macro front, India's economic growth for 2017 and 2018 will be slower than earlier projections, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook released on 10 October 2017. The report cited lingering impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the expected slow down during the current and the next year.
The IMF projected India to grow at 6.7% in 2017 and 7.4% in 2018, which are 0.5% and 0.3% less than the projections earlier this year, respectively. The IMF has meanwhile revised upwards, India's growth performance for 2016 in its latest calculations, owing to strong government spending and data revisions in India, which is now 7.1% as opposed to 6.8% in April.
Overseas, most European stocks were trading lower as investors continued to monitor ongoing political uncertainty. The Spanish government is meeting in Madrid on Wednesday in a bid to shore up its response to the Catalan independence movement. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and other leaders in the region yesterday, 10 October 2017, signed a document proclaiming independence from Spain, although they also suspended the move for the coming weeks, following an unofficial referendum earlier this month that led to unrest and a loss of business confidence in the region.
Asian stocks were mixed. The US stock market rose to record highs on Tuesday after Wal-Mart announced a large buyback and Honeywell said it was splitting into two. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.31% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite index added 0.11%.
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