Key domestic indices slumped, mirroring weakness in global stocks. Indices settled lower for third day in a row as investors turned cautious in the run-up to the announcement of five state elections' results next week.
The outcomes of the five state elections will likely set the tone for the general elections next year. Voting in Rajasthan and Telangana will take place on 7 December 2018 and the counting of votes in all the states will be done on 11 December 2018. Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram were held on 28 November 2018. The election in Chhattisgarh Assembly was held in two phases 12 and 20 November 2018.
Investors are also closely watching the meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC and other top oil producing countries are set to meet later on Thursday in Austria, with a series of issues on the line. Chief among those is the discussion surrounding crude output policy.
The Sensex fell 572.28 points or 1.59% to settle at 35,312.13, its lowest closing level since 22 November 2018. The index fell 177.18 points, or 0.49% at the day's high of 35,707.23. The index fell 617.65 points, or 1.72% at the day's low of 35,266.76.
The Nifty 50 index fell 181.75 points or 1.69% to settle at 10,601.15, its lowest closing level since 22 November 2018. The index fell 60.25 points, or 0.56% at the day's high of 10,722.65. The index fell 194.65 points, or 1.81% at the day's low of 10,588.25.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 740 shares rose and 1809 shares fell. A total of 148 shares were unchanged.
Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Energy index (up 2.35%), the S&P BSE Auto index (up 2.26%) and the S&P BSE Realty index (up 2.26%), underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Power index (up 0.65%), the S&P BSE Utilities index (up 0.87%) and the S&P BSE Metal index (up 1.01%), outperformed the Sensex.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries lost 2.72% to Rs 1,123.45.
IT major Infosys fell 1.94%. Infosys inaugurated its Technology and Innovation Hub in Hartford. Infosys also announced that it has hired more than 7,000 American workers in the last 18 months as part of its ongoing commitment to accelerate the pace of digital innovation for American enterprises. The announcement was made before market hours today, 6 December 2018.
Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose 1.57% to Rs 420.10 on bargain hunting after a recent slide. Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell 15.99% in three trading sessions to settle at Rs 413.60 yesterday, 5 December 2018, from its close of Rs 492.30 on 30 November 2018.
Aurobindo Pharma fell 5.87%. With reference to news item captioned, "Aurobindo faces US suit over impurities," the company clarified during trading hours today, 6 December 2018, that it has not yet been served with the legal notice as to the institution of legal proceedings against the company as alleged in the article. The company learned about the alleged proceedings from the media. The company said that when it receives the notice, it will communicate suitably at an appropriate time.
Power Grid Corporation of India shed 0.05%. The company has been declared as the successful bidder under tariff based competitive bidding to establish transmission system for evacuation of power from 2 x 660 MW Jawaharpur Thermal Power Project and construction of 400 kV substation at Firozabad along with associated transmission lines' on build, own operate and maintain (BOOM) basis. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 5 December 2018.
The project is an intra-state transmission system of Uttar Pradesh and comprises 765kV, 400kV, 220kV and 132kV lines apart from establishing a new 400/220/132 kV Substation at Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh. The Letter of Intent (LoI) has been received on 5 December 2018. This is the first intra state transmission system project won by Power Grid Corporation of India under tariff based competitive bidding.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 70.875, compared with its close of 70.465 during the previous trading session.
Crude oil prices snapped lower Thursday after Saudi Arabia's energy minister reportedly said that a cut of 1 million barrels per day would be enough for OPEC and its allied oil producers. The oil-rich kingdom had reportedly indicated previously that it wanted the group to curb output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day.
In the global commodities markets, Brent for February 2019 settlement was down $2.86 at $58.70 a barrel. The contract had fallen 52 cents, or 0.84% to settle at $61.56 a barrel during the previous trading session.
Overseas, trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could slump 443 points at the opening bell today. Asian and European stocks dropped after Canada arrested a top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies at the request of the US, a move that is seen as exacerbating tensions between the US and China.
Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said economic risks from abroad could be severe. The US Federal Reserve's Beige Book report showed there were concerns about higher tariffs from a widening trade war, rising interest rates and tight labor markets. Trump's get-tough approach to trade was causing rising costs for manufacturers and weaker sales at companies, it said.
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