A weak trading sentiment across the globe and concerns over infrastructure output data for November -- due later in the day -- pushed investors towards profit-booking on the last trading day of the calendar year 2019.
The S&P BSE Sensex settled at 41,253.74 level, down 304.26 points or 0.73 per cent, with 24 of the 30 constituents on the index settling in the negative territory. Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries, and Hero MotoCorp were the top losers today, while NTPC, ONGC, Sun Pharma, and Power Grid ended as the top gainers.
On the NSE, the broader Nifty50 index held the 12,150-mark to close at 12,168.45-level, down 87.4 points or 0.71 per cent.
For the calendar year 2019, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 14.6 per cent, while the Nifty50 and Nifty Bank indices added 12.2 and 18.5 per cent, respectively. However, the BSE Midcap and SmallCap indices have slipped 3 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, thus giving a negative return for the second year in a row.
At close, however, the S&P BSE India Infrastructure index was up 0.8 per cent, after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a National Infrastructure Pipeline to provide Rs 102 trillion infra-push over the next 5 years. The minister said another Rs 3 trillion of projects are likely to be added to this pipeline. Consequently, KNR Constructions, IRB Developers, and Power Finance Corporation rallied up to 6 per cent.
Quick look at the stocks that made major movement in today's trading session:
>> Shares of Sadbhav Engineering slipped 7 per cent to hit an over five-year low of Rs 103 on the BSE on Tuesday on back of heavy volumes. The stock of the construction and engineering company was trading at its lowest level since April 2014. The stock closed 3 per cent lower at Rs 107.8.
>> On the upside, shares of Aavas Financiers gained 3.98 per cent on the BSE on Tuesday to hit a new high of Rs 2,000, in an otherwise subdued market, on the expectation of good earnings growth going forward.
>> Besides, shares of smallcap companies were trading higher for the fifth straight session on the BSE. Market analysts are expecting a recovery in earnings in the second half of 2020 on the back of a low base, positive global sentiments, and economic reforms that are being taken by governments.
Here is how global markets traded today:
Ahead of the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the pan-European STOXX 600 index shed 0.3 per cent. French, British, and Spanish stocks lost between 0.4 per cent and 0.8 per cent, while Frankfurt and Milan bourses were shut for the year-end holidays.
Asian shares slipped on the last trading day of the decade. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.39 per cent, while Australian shares were 1.69 per cent lower and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.32 per cent.