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Stocks tumble amid global sell-off

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Key benchmark indices ended with sharp losses amid weak global stocks. Concerns about the health of the world economy spooked investors. The uncertainty around Brexit (the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union) also kept markets nervous.

The Sensex fell 355.70 points or 0.93% to settle at 37,808.91, its lowest closing level since 14 March 2019. The index fell 147.85 points, or 0.39% at the day's high of 38,016.76. The index fell 497.21 points, or 1.30% at the day's low of 37,667.40.

The Nifty 50 index fell 102.65 points or 0.90% to settle at 11,354.25, its lowest closing level since 14 March 2019. The index fell 61.25 points, or 0.53% at the day's high of 11,395.65. The index fell 145.30 points, or 1.27% at the day's low of 11,311.60.

The Sensex settled below the psychological 38,000 level after sliding below that level in early trade. Trading for the week began on a subdued note as domestic stocks dropped in early trade on negative Asian stocks. Stocks traded with weakness in morning trade. Weakness persisted on the bourses till afternoon trade. Key indices hit fresh intraday low in mid-afternoon trade on fresh selling in index pivotals. Stocks trimmed losses in late trade.

Selling was broad based. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 1.06%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 1.16%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 792 shares rose and 1884 shares fell. A total of 193 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Telecom index (down 2.22%), the S&P BSE Realty index (down 1.83%) and the S&P BSE Metal index (down 1.30%), underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Oil & Gas index (up 1.40%), the S&P BSE Power index (up 0.46%) and the S&P BSE Utilities index (up 0.41%), outperformed the Sensex.

Jet Airways (India) surged 12.69% to Rs 254.50. The company announced after market hours today, 25 March 2019, that two nominees of promoter viz. Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal, and one nominee of Etihad Airways PJSC will step down from the board. Additionally, Naresh Goyal will also cease to be the chairman of the company. Further, an interim management committee will be set up to manage and monitor the daily operations and cash flow of the company. The lenders to the airline also announced funding support of up to Rs 1,500 crore by way of issue of debt instrument against security of its assets to restore normalcy of operations.

Engineering and construction major L&T dropped 1.21%. L&T Construction, the construction arm of L&T, was awarded large contracts for its Buildings and Factories and Water and Effluent Treatment businesses. The announcement was made during market hours today, 25 March 2019.

Infosys fell 0.86%. Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of Infosys, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, for five years to strengthen research activities in Orientology, the study of Ancient cultures of the Asian subcontinent. The announcement was made during market hours today, 25 March 2019.

Infosys said it will invest $10 million in US-based artificial intelligence-focussed venture capital fund, The House Fund II. The transaction is expected to be completed before the first quarter of the financial year 2019-2020. Minority holding in the proposed transaction will not exceed 20% of the total fund size. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 22 March 2019.

NTPC rose 1.19%. NTPC sad that Unit-3 of 250 MW of Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project (3 X 250 MW) will be declared on commercial operation with effect from 26 March 2019. With this, the commercial capacity of Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project, NTPC and NTPC group would become 750 MW, 45065 MW and 52206 MW respectively. The announcement was made during market hours today, 25 March 2019.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories rose 0.44%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories announced that the audit of research and development facility of Aurigene Discovery Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary, situated at Miyapur, Hyderabad by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), completed on 21 March 2019. No FDA 483 was issued at the end of inspection. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 22 March 2019.

State Bank of India (SBI) fell 1.44%. SBI announced that its board approved extension of validity period for raising equity capital of upto Rs 20,000 crore from market by way of FPO/QIP/preferential allotment/rights issue/any other mode or a combination of these till 31 March 2020. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 22 March 2019.

In a separate announcement, SBI's board approved allotment of 12,513 non-convertible, taxable, perpetual, subordinated, unsecured basel III compliant additional tier 1 bonds, for inclusion in additional tier 1 capital of the bank, in the nature of debentures of face value of Rs. 10 lakh each, at par, bearing coupon of 9,45% p.a. payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter, aggregating to Rs. 1251.30 crore to the bond subscribers on 22 March 2019. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 22 March 2019.

Shares of state-run oil marketing companies rose after crude oil futures declined in the international commodity market. Indian Oil Corporation (up 4.72%), HPCL (up 2.35%) and BPCL (up 1.13%) edged higher.

Lower crude oil prices could reduce under-recoveries of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) on domestic sale of LPG and kerosene at controlled prices. The government has already freed pricing of petrol and diesel.

In the global commodities markets, Brent for May 2018 settlement was down 15 cents at $66.88 a barrel. The contract fell 83 cents, or 1.22% to settle at $67.03 a barrel during the previous trading session.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 68.905, compared with its close of 68.95 during the previous trading session.

Overseas, European and Asian markets edged lower Monday, amid rising worries of an impending recession in the US. German manufacturing contracted for the third month in a row, IHS Markit data showed Friday.

US stocks closed sharply lower Friday, after a downbeat round of economic data in Europe and the US stoked global growth fears while a closely watched measure of the yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007, triggering recession worries.

Meanwhile, at a pivotal European Council summit where meetings overran dramatically, the European Union offered the U.K. a two-pronged plan to extend Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. The U.K. will be offered a delay until May 22, if MPs approve the deal Prime Minister Theresa May had negotiated. If not, the EU will support a shorter delay, to April 12 to formulate a new plan.

The flash PMI figure for the eurozone in March showed that the preliminary Markit PMI Composite figure, seasonally adjusted, was 51.3, below the February figure of 51.9.

According to the flash reading of IHS Markit's purchasing manager's index, the manufacturing index fell to 52.5 in March from 53 in February. US wholesale inventories rose 1.2% in January after a revised estimate of a 1.1% increase in December, the Commerce Department said.

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

First Published: Mon, March 25 2019. 16:32 IST