Sensex down 193 pts on Budget blues

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex fell 193 points to 17,273.37 amid lingering post-Budget blues, continuing high interest rate regime and weak markets globally. Realty, power, capital goods, banking, PSU, IT and refinery stocks faced selling after hike in excise duty made in the Budget 2012-13 that was presented on Friday.

Besides, retail inflation for February, data for which was released today, came out at 8.83 per cent, higher than 7.65 per cent in January. Brokers said it dampened investor hopes or cut in lending rates by the Reserve Bank at the next monetary policy review. Contrary to expectations of a rate cut, RBI had left the high interest rate regime to tame inflation unchanged at last week`s review. Although most of the policy decisions take into account wholesale price index based price rise, brokers said, overall inflation remains a concern, which was fanned by the retail price data.

Fall in RIL, TCS, SBI, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Infosys and L&T erased around 160 points from the Sensex. In all, 11 of the 13 sectoral indices closed in the red, while 24 of the 30 Sensex scrips finished with losses. Although Sensex touched 17,561.46 after opening low, it turned negative again and continued the slide. It closed at 17,273.37, down 192.83 points or 1.10 per cent. It has slumped 645.93 points or 3.60 per cent in three sessions straight.

The NSE 50-issue index Nifty tumbled 60.85 points or 1.14 per cent to one week low of 5,257.05. "The Sensex declined in the first post-Budget trading. Concerns of policy reforms, higher fiscal deficit, higher service tax and customs duty have badly impacted the market," said Rikesh Parikh, VP Equities, Motilal Oswal Securities.

"Global markets remained weak due to slowdown in China," he added. Asian markets ended narrowly mixed. Key indices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan ended with losses while from China, Japan and South Korea settled with some gains. European stocks were trading lower in the afternoon. CAC (France), DAX (Germany) and FTSE (UK) were down. FIIs continued to buy Indian equities and picked up shares worth Rs 918.70 crore last Friday as per Sebi data.

Meanwhile, major Sensex losers were BHEL (4.84 pc), TCS (3.86 pc), SBI (3.07 pc), Tata Power (3.03 pc), RIL (2.21 pc), HDFC (2.18 pc), Coal India (2.16 pc), HDFC Bank (1.78 pc), L&T (1.76 pc), DLF (1.68 pc), Tata Steel (1.42 pc), Hero Motoco (1.41 pc), Infosys (1.15 pc) and Tata Motors (1.10 pc). Gainers included M&M (1.74 pc) and Sunp Pharma (1.68 pc).

Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty fell 2.56 pc, followed by Power – 2.23 pc, Capital Goods – 2.14 pc, Bankex – 1.95 pc, PSU – 1.74 pc, IT – 1.65 pc, TECK – 1.50 pc and Oil & gas – 1.27 pc. FMCG index shot up by 1.09 per cent. The total market breadth continued to remain negative as 1,868 scrips ended with losses, while 1,004 scrips finished with gains. The total turnover dipped to Rs 2,401.46 crore from the last Friday`s close of 3,581.35 cr.