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Sensex drops below 36,000 on geopolitical concerns

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Domestic stocks reversed intraday gains to hit day's low in negative zone amid geo-political concerns. At 12:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 102.72 points or 0.29% at 35,870.99. The Nifty 50 index was down 40.60 points or 0.37% at 10,794.70. Intraday volatility was high. The Sensex was currently trading below the psychological 36,000 level after moving above and below that level in intrday trade.

Pakistani fighter jets on Wednesday morning reportedly violated the Indian air space in Nowshera sector of Jammu & Kashmir's Rajouri district but were pushed back by Indian aircraft. India had carried out non-military, pre-emptive air strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) Tuesday morning to target the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Trading for the day began on an upbeat note as the key benchmark indices drifted higher in early trade on buying demand in index pivotals. Stocks held firm in morning trade. Key indices trimmed gains in mid-morning trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.36%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.1%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative. On the BSE, 1089 shares rose and 1175 shares fell. A total of 128 shares were unchanged.

Telecom stocks saw mixed trend. Bharti Airtel (up 0.29%), Vodafone Idea (up 0.05%)and MTNL (up 0.16%) rose. Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (down 4.44%) and Reliance Communications (down 0.63%) fell.

Shares of Bharti Infratel fell 2.31%. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.

Corporation Bank (up 6.85%), Allahabad Bank (up 5.47%) and Dhanlaxmi Bank (up 7.5%) edged higher after the Reserve Bank of India permitted these banks to exit the prompt corrective action framework.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s board for financial supervision (BFS), in its meeting held on 26 February 2019, reviewed the performance of banks under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework and noted that the Government of India has infused fresh capital on 21 February 2019 into various banks including some of the banks currently under the PCA framework.

Of these banks, the BFS noted that Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank had received Rs 6896 crore and Rs 9086 crore respectively. This has shored up their capital funds and also increased their loan loss provision to ensure that the PCA parameters were complied with. The two banks have also made the necessary disclosures to the stock exchange that post infusion of capital, the CRAR, CET1, net NPA and leverage ratios are no longer in breach of the PCA thresholds. The banks also apprised RBI of the structural and systemic improvements put in place to maintain these numbers.

Accordingly, based on the principles adopted by the BFS in its earlier meeting dated 31 January 2019, it was decided in the meeting held on 26 February 2019 that Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank be taken out of the PCA Framework subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring. It has also been decided to take Dhanlaxmi Bank out of the PCA framework, subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring, as the bank is found to be not breaching any of the risk thresholds of the PCA framework.

Overseas, most Asian stocks were trading higher Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. Kim and Trump both arrived in Hanoi on Tuesday and begin their meetings later in the day.

U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday after weaving in and out of positive territory all session following Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony, during which he reiterated the central bank's wait-and-see approach.

Investors have been focused on U.S.-China trade developments after Trump in recent days indicated that he was willing to extend a March 2 deadline for increasing tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods.

In economic data, Consumer confidence surged in February, rising for the first time in four months, as the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 131.4, up from 121.7 in January.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 27 2019. 12:34 IST