Trading turned volatile as key equity indices reversed the trend and slipped into negative terrain in mid-morning trade. At 11:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 113.73 points or 0.30% at 38,273.02. The Nifty 50 index was down 29.65 points or 0.26% at 11,491.40. Weakness in index pivotals, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and TCS, put pressure on bourses. Negative global cues dented investors’ sentiment.
Shares opened slightly higher and extended gains in morning trade. The trend reversed in mid-morning trade as sudden selling pressure emerged.
Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.15%. The BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.11%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On BSE, 943 shares rose and 1284 shares fell. A total of 125 shares were unchanged.
Reliance Industries was down 1.08% at Rs 1,360.70.
HDFC Bank was down 0.79% at Rs 2281. The stock hit a record high of Rs 2306.75 in morning trade today, 22 March 2019.
Most IT shares declined. MphasiS (down 2.41%), MindTree (down 0.84%), TCS (down 0.64%), Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.62%), HCL Technologies (down 0.58%), Hexaware Technologies (down 0.45%), Wipro (down 0.4%), Persistent Systems (down 0.16%) and Tech Mahindra (down 0.01%), edged lower. Infosys was up 0.34%.
Most pharmaceuticals shares fell. Cadila Healthcare (down 0.95%), Strides Shasun (down 0.85%), IPCA Laboratories (down 0.8%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.75%), Divi’s Laboratories (down 0.64%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (down 0.62%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 0.54%), Lupin (down 0.47%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 0.41%), Alkem Laboratories (down 0.35%), Wockhardt (down 0.3%) and Cipla (down 0.19%), edged lower. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (up 0.08%) and Piramal Enterprises (up 0.13%), edged higher.
Overseas, Asian shares declined on Friday, following the US Federal Reserve’s dim outlook for the global economy.
US stocks closed higher Thursday a day after the Federal Reserve signaled that it was unlikely to raise interest rates this year amid worries over slowing economic growth.
On Wednesday, the US Fed said it does not expect to raise rates at all in 2019. The central bank had forecast at least two rate hikes for this year back in December. The Fed added that it expects to end its balance-sheet reduction process by the end of September. The US central bank, however, lowered its economic growth forecast for 2019, raising concerns over a possible slowdown in the economy.
On the trade front, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for more discussion on trade, while Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington early next month to continue the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the European Union proposed an extension of the Brexit deadline to May 22 on the condition that the UK Parliament support Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, which will be put to vote next week.
On the US data front, the Labor Department said the number of laid-off workers who applied for first-time unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 in the week ended March 16 to 221,000a one-month low.
The Philadelphia Fed’s business activity index rebounded in March to a seasonally adjusted reading of 13.7 from -4.1 the previous month. A reading above zero indicates improving conditions. The Conference Board’s leading economic index rose 0.2% in February, its first uptick since September.