Equity benchmark indices ended marginally lower on Monday while oscillating in a range but telecom stocks gained after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is looking for ways to support the debt-laden sector.
The BSE S & P Sensex closed 73 points lower at 40,284 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 1 point to 11,894. Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty metal gaining by 1.8 per cent, PSU bank by 1.4 per cent and pharma by 1.1 per cent. Nifty auto, financial service and FMCG were in the negative zone.
Shares of telecom major Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel surged ahead amid reports that the government will step in to help the ailing sector. The development came a few days after both companies reported a combined loss of Rs 74,000 crore and warned their ability to operate will depend on relief measures.
Vodafone Idea closed 22.47 per cent higher at Rs 4.47 per share while Bharti Airtel gained by 4.62 per cent at Rs 411.20 per scrip. The other gainers were Tata Steel which moved up by 4.4 per cent, UPL and Hindalco.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation also added gains of 2.75 per cent as the government aims to sell its stake in the company by March 2020.
However, Yes Bank dropped by 4.3 per cent at Rs 65.75 per share. Bajaj Auto, Britannia, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hero MotoCorp closed with losses ranging between 1.5 to 1.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, Asian shares moved higher after Beijing surprised markets by trimming a key interest rate for the first time since 2015. China's central bank cut rates on seven-day reverse repurchase agreements by five basis points to 2.5 per cent.
The development helped Shanghai blue chips recoup early losses to rise by 0.64 per cent. Japan's Nikkei added 0.49 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 1.35 per cent despite bloody anti-government protests.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)