Benchmark indices close in the red on monsoon worries

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Mumbai, August 31 (IANS) The benchmark indices ended in the red on Thursday on the back of concerns regarding 9 per cent deficit in monsoon as several states have witnessed scarce rainfall this month across many districts, said S. Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

While Nifty lost 93.65 points or 0.48 per cent to settle at 19,253.80, the BSE Sensex fell by 255.84 points or 0.39 per cent to close at 64,831.41.

However, there was a lot of stock specific activity across sectors on a day characterised by volatility. A notable feature of Thursday's trade was the activity seen in the small-cap index which managed to end the day in the green, Ranganathan added.

Aditya Gaggar, Director of Progressive Shares, said the last day of the month was dominated by the bears where BankNifty remained the weak link, dragging the Index lower throughout the day to settle at 19,253.80 with a loss of 93.65 points.

On a sector-wise performance, the realty sector remained the top performer while PSU banks and energy were the laggards. Among the broader markets, more strength was seen in the small-cap index by ending the day with gains of 0.81 per cent while mid-cap gained only 0.11 per cent, he said.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said a slew of weak economic indicators from the US, including a softened GDP figure, have heightened the likelihood of a pause in the Fed’s rate tightening, resulting in a downward trajectory of bond yields.

However, this development had a limited impact on domestic sentiment on the day of expiry, with the market experiencing declines ahead of the release of India's GDP data, scheduled for today, he said.

Global markets joined the trend as Eurozone inflation persisted at 5.3 per cent as per preliminary estimates, surpassing the market's anticipation of 5.1% along with negative cues from Asian economies.