The key Indian equity indices ended on a negative note for the sixth consecutive trading session on Wednesday, weighed down by a plunge in the Indian rupee and broadly negative global cues.
Globally, persistent trade tensions subdued the investor sentiments, analysts said.
In the domestic market, investor sentiment was further eroded as growth in the India’s manufacturing and service sector decelerated in August.
The Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index, released on Wednesday, fell to 51.9 in August from July’s 21-month high of 54.1, driven by weaker growth in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
Although, both S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 were on the decline all through the day after opening on a positive note, they recovered sharply from the day’s lows during the last hour of trade.
Index-wise, the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 11,476.95 points, lower by 43.35 points or 0.38 per cent from its previous close of 11,520.30 points.
Similarly, the barometer S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 38,192.95 points, closed in the negative territory. It closed at 38,018.31 points, lower by 139.61 points or 0.37 per cent from the previous close of 38,157.92 points.
The Sensex registered an intra-day high of 38,250.61 points and a low of 37,774.42 points.
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE Mid-cap fell by 0.61 per cent and the S&P BSE Small-cap ended 0.52 per cent from its previous close. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,784 declines against 981 advances.
“Tepid macro-economic updates coupled with renewed global trade war concerns dampened investor sentiment and infused volatility into the markets,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager for Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
He added: “Investor sentiment took a hit after data showed that India’s Services PMI had risen at a slower pace in August 2018.”
Said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities: “the weakness came on the back of negative global cues as heightened worries over international trade conflicts dampened investor appetite for riskier assets.”
Major Asian markets closed on a negative note and European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded in the red, he added.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee settled at a record closing low of 71.75 against the US dollar, weaker by 17 paise than its previous close of 71.58 per greenback.
It recovered from the all-time low of 71.97 per dollar reached earlier in the day.
“The fall in the rupee intensified due to a strengthening dollar, which lifted up on fears of a Chinese slowdown and economic turbulence in emerging market economies,” said Rahul Sharma, Senior Research Analyst with Equity99.
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 383.67 crore and domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 176.95 crore.
Sector-wise, S&P BSE Healthcare index rose by 103.36 points, the auto index was up 66.80 points and the basic material index was rose by just 8.99 points from its previous close.
In contrast, the S&P BSE Consumer Durables index declined by 391.50 points, the capital goods index fell by 190.75 points and FMCG stocks ended 134.23 points lower than its previous close.
The top gainers at the Sensex were Yes Bank, up 2.93 per cent at Rs 343.90; Vedanta, up 2.27 per cent at Rs 229.55; Adani Ports, up 1.53 per cent at Rs 378.45; Wipro, up 1.44 per cent at Rs 318.05, and Sun Pharma, up 1.41 per cent at Rs 663.40 per share.
The majors losers were Hindustan Unilever, down 2.45 per cent at Rs 1,611; Bharti Airtel, down 1.36 per cent at Rs 372.60; Reliance Industries, down 1.33 per cent at Rs 1,225.80; Hero MoroCorp, down 1.18 per cent at Rs 3,148.20 per share.