Key equity benchmarks further extended losses and hit fresh intraday low in the afternoon trade. At 13:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 521.51 points or 1.40% at 36,601.80. The Nifty 50 index also declined 150.25 points or 1.37% at 10,853.25.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.50%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.43%.
The market breadth was weak. On the BSE, shares 908 rose and 1,368 shares fell. A total of 145 shares were unchanged.
GAIL (India) (up 1.73%), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.77%), UPL (up 0.77%), Asian Paints (up 0.66%) and Britannia Industries (up 0.49%) advanced.
Hero MotoCorp (down 3.38%), Axis Bank (down 3.08%), Tech Mahindra (down 2.50%), Maruti Suzuki India (down 2.34%) and Cipla (down 2.34%) declined.
IT major TCS announced a global partnership with General Motors in future global vehicle engineering. Under this partnership agreement TCS will acquire certain assets at the GM Technical Center in Bengaluru and the IT major will also partner General Motors in supporting its global vehicle programs with engineering design services over the next 5 years. TCS was down 1.25% at Rs 2,122.20.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel fell 2.12% after a media report indicated that talks to sell stake in merged tower company has begun. The telecom operator has begun talks to sell stake in merged company of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers. ATC and Brookfield are interested parties to acquire the stake in the merged entity, reports suggested.
State Bank of India lost 1.72%. SBI informed that the All lndia Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All lndia Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) has given a call for an all India strike by bank employees on 26 September 2019 and 27 September 2019.
The bank also stated that it has made all the arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices and it is likely that work would be impacted to some extent due to strike. The announcement was made after trading hours yesterday, 16 September 2019.
Titan Company rose 1.20% after a foreign brokerage firm reportedly upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight with a target of Rs 1,300 from Rs 1,110 per share.
According to reports, the brokerage is of the view that strong growth in a difficult macro environment should be rewarded by re-rating. The research firm has raised FY20, FY21 and FY22 EPS estimates by 3%, 2% and 1% respectively. It believes that Titan's ongoing marketing and promotion spends are unprecedented.
Wipro was down by 0.77%. The IT giant announced its strategic partnership with 'i4.0MC - Industrie 4.0 Maturity enter GmbH' (14.0MC), Germany, to collaborate on the digital transformation in manufacturing companies.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell 1.46%. The pharmaceutical major, according to media sources, has infringed six patents of Viberzi along with Zydus Cadila. According to a complaint filed in federal court on Friday, Allergan is seeking a court order to block all copies till the patent expires. The company also looks forward to collect cash compensation if the copies were made before.
Shares of Eicher Motors slipped 0.73% after media reports claimed that a reputed brokerage firm retained its 'sell' recommendation on the stock, slashing its target price by 6.6% due to subdued festive season and weak demand.
Overseas, European stocks were mixed while most Asian stocks were trading lower as the flight from risk assets continued in the wake of devastating weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil industry.
US President Donald Trump on Monday reportedly said it looks like Iran was behind the attack, but suggested no military response was imminent. The Saudi government reportedly called the attack an unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage but stopped short of directly pinning blame on Iran. Meanwhile, Tehran reportedly denied responsibility for the strike, which knocked out about half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.
US stocks fell on Monday after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities added to investors' concerns about geopolitical risk and a stumbling global economy.
Investors are looking forward to a meeting of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate setting committee beginning Tuesday and concluding Wednesday, after which Chairman Jerome Powell will announce the central bank's latest policy decision. Expectations are that the Fed will cut interest rates a second time this year.
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