Equities came off for the first time in three days on sell-off in auto stocks after some popular car models failed safety crash test and downbeat global cues as strong US data boosted prospects of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki plunged 0.81 per cent to Rs 3,917 after the firm’s Celerio and Eeco models failed crash test by safety group Global NCAP. Besides, the parent company, Suzuki, admitting to using improper fuel economy testing methods had a bearing on its shares.
Mahindra & Mahindra succumbed 1.59 per cent to Rs 1,320.10 while the overall BSE auto index tanked 1.28 per cent. Shares of state-run Punjab National Bank rose 3.25 per cent despite the company posting a record net loss of Rs 5,367.14 crore for the fourth quarter.
“Prospects of higher interest rates in the US increased after latest data showed that US consumer prices rose in April at the fastest pace in three years,” said Shreyash Devalkar, Fund Manager Equities at BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
The benchmark BSE Sensex opened lower and stayed in the red and touched a low of 25,503.40 largely in tune with weak global shares. However on emergence of buying in SBI, ONGC and L&T, later it trimmed losses and finally settled 69 points or 0.27 per cent lower at 25,704.61.
It had gained 284.04 points in the last two sessions. The NSE 50-share Nifty also went down by 20.60 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 7,870.15. Shares of associate banks of SBI - State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore extended their rally for a second day and rose 9.44 per cent and 2.37 per cent on the proposed merger of its five associate lenders with the parent firm.
In broader markets, the BSE’s small-cap index ended 0.22 per cent higher while mid-cap shed 0.01 per cent. Global trading sentiment was subdued as Asian markets retreated following overnight sharp sell-off in the US as a better-than-expected data fuelled speculations the Fed could raise interest rates as soon as next month.
Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.05 per cent lower despite a better-than-forecast economic growth data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished 1.45 per cent down while Shanghai Index fell 1.27 per cent. Europe was down too with key indexes in France, Germany and the UK taking a hit of up to 0.50 per cent. Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex, 21 scrips fell while ICICI Bank ended steady.
Major losers were Bajaj Auto (1.85 pc), M&M (1.59 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.47 pc), Tata Motors (1.26 pc), BHEL (1.16 pc), HDFC Bank (1.10 pc), HUL (0.97 pc), Maruti (0.81 pc) and TCS (0.77 pc). However, ONGC rose 1.83 per cent followed by SBI 1.78 per cent, L&T 1.24 per cent, Lupin 1.18 pc and ITC 0.76 per cent.
Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, auto fell by 1.28 per cent followed by utilities 0.35 per cent, power 0.33 per cent, teck 0.31 per cent and consumer durables 0.28 per cent.
While, realty rose 2.11 per cent followed by capital goods 0.64 per cent and metal 0.61 per cent. The market breadth turned negative as 1,319 stocks ended lower, 1,228 closed higher while 190 ruled steady. The total turnover fell to Rs 2,613.94 crore from Rs 2,673.07 crore yesterday.