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Sensex Ends 202 Points Lower; Oil & Gas and Power Stocks Witness Selling
Mon, 17 Feb Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

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India share markets witnessed selling pressure during closing hours and ended their day on a negative note.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 202 points (down 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty stood down by 67 points (down 0.6%).

The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day down 0.9%, while the BSE Small Cap index stood down by 1%.

Stocks in the oil & gas sector and power sector witnessed huge selling pressure, while consumer durable stocks were trading in the green.

The rupee was trading at 71.38 against the US$.

Asian stock markets finished on a mixed note. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up by 0.52% and the Shanghai Composite was up by 2.28%. The Nikkei 225 was down 0.69%.

European markets were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was up by 0.24%. The DAX was trading up by 0.20%, while the CAC 40 stood up 0.14%.

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In news from the macroeconomic space, Moody's Investors Service slashed its 2020 growth projection for India to 5.4% from 6.6% forecast earlier. The forecast is lowered amid growing concerns over the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The agency expects a shallower recovery in Asia's third-largest economy given that global growth will likely take a hit following the virus outbreak in China.

It stated that improvements in the latest high frequency indicators such as PMI data suggest that the economy may have stabilized. While the economy may well begin to recover in the current quarter, the agency expects any recovery to be slower than it had previously expected. Accordingly, it has revised its India's growth forecasts to 5.4% for 2020 and 5.8% for 2021, down from the previous projections of 6.6% and 6.7%, respectively.

Moody's also reduced its global growth projection, saying that the coronavirus outbreak has diminished optimism about prospects of an incipient stabilization of global growth this year.

In China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, about 1,933 new cases and 100 deaths were reported on 16 February, the lowest daily death count since 11 February.

Death toll in mailand China touched 1,770 as of the end of Sunday, with total confirmed cases at 70,548.

The rating agency said with the virus continuing to spread, it is still too early to make a final assessment of the impact on China and the global economy.

It has revised global GDP growth forecast down, and now expects G-20 economies to collectively grow 2.4% in 2020, a softer rate than last year, followed by a pickup to 2.8% in 2021.

For India, Moody's said, a key to stronger economic momentum would be the revival of domestic demand, both rural and urban. It also stated that the resumption of credit growth in the economy is equally important.

Moving on to news from finance sector, LIC Housing Finance share price was in focus today. The stock of the company witnessed huge selling pressure after reports stated that the country's biggest institutional investor Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) may speed up the process of merging its housing finance arm with IDBI Bank.

LIC, however, denied reports saying there is no proposal to merge LIC Housing Finance with any other entity.

At present, the market capitalisation of LIC Housing Finance and IDBI Bank is hovering at Rs 187 billion and Rs 372 billion.

LIC holds 51% stake in IDBI Bank and 40.13% in LIC Housing Finance.

Note that a one-time tax expense of Rs 62.7 billion has left IDBI Bank deep into the red for the 13th consecutive quarter with a net loss of Rs 57.6 billion for the three months to December 2019.

The bank has been under the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework of the Reserve Bank of India since May 2017.

How the above development pans out remain to be seen. Meanwhile, we will keep you updated on all the news from this space.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

Read the latest Market Commentary


What else is happening in the markets today? Dig in...

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