Domestic markets, which remained subdued for better part of the day on the back of weak investment sentiment in a holiday-truncated week, witnessed sharp fall in the last trading hour on Tuesday. The steep fall followed reports that the government might miss its divestment target for fiscal year 2019-20.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 181.4 points, or 0.44 per cent, to close at 41,461.26 level, dragged by heavyweights like Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, TCS, and Larsen and Toubro. At close, Indusnd Bank, ONGC, and PowerGrid closed as top gainers, while HCL Tech, RIL, and HDFC Bank were the top losers. The Sensex slipped 219 points in the intra-day trade today to hit a low of 41,423.07.
On the NSE, the Nifty50 ended at 12,213.40-mark, down 49.35 points or 0.40 per cent
The broader market, however, settled near the flatline. The S&P BSE mid-cap index closed 0.07 per cent lower at 14,812.70, while the S&P BSE small-cap index ended at 13,382.97-mark up 0.01 per cent.
Shares of state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd tanked up to 4.2 per cent to Rs 471.75 on the BSE in the intra-day deals after media reports said that the government was wary of fixing a timeline for the proposed divestment as it belived the "investors needed at least six to eight weeks to do the due diligence of Expression of Interest (EoI)". At close, the counter quoted Rs 477, down 3.12 per cent
United Breweries surged 5.8 per cent to Rs 1,312/75 apiece on the BSE today after business channel CNBC TV18 reported that Dutch brewing company Heineken was looking to hold controlling stake of over 51% in the company. The stock settled 4.79 per cent higher at Rs 1,299.4
Shares of NIIT Technologies bounced back 4 per cent from early morning lows on the BSE on Tuesday after its board approved share buyback at price of Rs 1,725 per share via tender offer. The stock settled close to Rs 1,600-mark, up 1.26 per cent.
Asian shares edged lower and US stock futures darted in and out of losses on Tuesday, as the holiday lull offset optimism that a U.S.-China trade deal will boost exports and corporate earnings.
While MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, and South Korean shares fell 0.14 per cent and 0.54 per cent, respectively, Japan’s Nikkei and Australian shares nudged 0.04 per cent and 0.13 per cent higher.
Domestic markets will remain shut on Wednesday on account of Christmas.