Upcoming macro data dents markets; Sensex down 286 points 

Mumbai, Dec 11 (IANS) Upcoming macro-economic data coupled with the logjam in parliament affecting passage of key economic bills and a likely US rate hike spooked investors on Friday resulting in a barometer index of the Indian equities markets shedding 286 points during the late-afternoon trade session.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a slightly positive note. But both soon ceded their gains due to the parliament logjam which has reduced the prospects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill getting passed during the ongoing winter session.

Should the bill not secure clearance in this session, it will miss its intended roll-out date of April 1 next year.

In addition, continued selling by foreign investors ahead of a likely US rate hike depressed the markets.

On Thursday, the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers at the stock exchanges with stocks worth Rs.580.28 crore being sold by them.

Furthermore, upcoming domestic upcoming macro-economic data on monthly industrial production, slated to be released later on Friday, flared volatility.

Figures for the index of industrial production (IIP) are expected to be released after market hours.

After Friday’s release of the IIP figures, the data points for consumer price index (CPI) and wholesale price index (WPI) will be released on Monday, followed by the US Federal Reserves FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet on Wednesday.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) dropped 286 points or 1.13 percent during the late-afternoon trade session.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading in the red during the session under review. It was lower by 97 points or 1.26 percent at 7,586.55 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 25,281.77 points, was trading at 24,966.16 points — down 286.16 points or 1.13 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,252.32 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 25,316.14 points and a low of 24,942.04 points during the intra-day trade.

The barometer index had gained 216 points or 0.86 percent on Thursday after six consecutive sessions of losses.

Market observers pointed out that investors were on a ‘risk-off mode’ in the absence of any fresh triggers coupled with a growing possibility that the government won’t be able to pass key economic legislations during the ongoing winter session of parliament.

“Markets are on a risk-off mode with very little to cheer about. There is a growing consensus amongst investors that the current parliament session is going to be a washout,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Investors are cautious ahead of a string of events that are lined-up including IIP, CPI, WPI and FOMC decision.”

Nitasha Shankar, vice president for research with YES Securities said: “Broader markets are also witnessing weakness in line with the headline index as high beta stocks continue to see unwinding of long positions.”

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