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Markets slip as BJP posts mixed showing in state polls; Infy resumes slide

twitter-logoPTI | October 24, 2019 | Updated 17:37 IST

Mumbai, Oct 24 (PTI) Benchmark indices ended marginally lower after a choppy session on Thursday, dragged by IT and bank counters, amid mixed results for the ruling BJP in state polls. Lacklustre macroeconomic cues and an adverse judicial ruling against the telecom sector also sapped risk appetite, brokers said. After gyrating over 486 points, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 38.44 points, or 0.10 per cent, lower at 39,020.39. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 21.50 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 11,582.60. Telecom and bank stocks came under selling pressure after the Supreme Court allowed the Centre to recover dues of about Rs 92,000 crore from telcos, increasing the financial burden on them and their lenders. Interestingly, Bharti Airtel emerged as the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 3.31 per cent. Other winners were RIL, HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Tata Steel and Tata Motors, which rose up to 3.12 per cent. Top losers included Yes Bank, SBI and IndusInd Bank that cracked up to 5.76 per cent. Shares of Infosys also ended 2.36 per cent lower after Sebi and the US Securities and Exchange Commission initiated probe against the firm following whistleblower complaints. On the political front, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance was on the road to power in Maharashtra while Haryana emerged a cliffhanger with no clear majority for either the BJP or Congress. Meanwhile, India jumped 14 places to the 63rd position on the World Bank's ease of doing business rankings, riding high on the government's flagship 'Make in India' scheme and other reforms attracting foreign investment. However, Fitch Ratings slashed India's GDP growth forecast in the current fiscal to 5.5 per cent, saying a large credit squeeze emanating from shadow banks has pushed economic growth to a six-year low. "Volatility ruled the roost as market indices gyrated around previous close amid uncertainty over assembly results in Haryana, while NDA is expected to form government in Maharashtra. "Sentiments also got a hit after the apex court verdict against telecom incumbents...This ruling is a setback for the telecom industry and for the incumbents and it brings in more uncertainty for the industry. "Looking at the stress in the balance sheets of telecom players, it seems that government would likely step in and come out with a practical solution either by waiving the penalty and interest or else extending payment over a period of time. If not, then banks will be staring at more incremental stress in their loan books from the sector," said Paras Bothra, President of Equity Research, Ashika Stock Broking. Sectorally, BSE bankex, finance and telecom indices fell up to 1.16 per cent. Energy, realty, consumer durables and healhcare indices gained up to 1.57 per cent. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 0.39 per cent. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a positive note, while those in Shanghai settled in the red. Equites in Europe were trading higher in their respective early deals. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 11 paise to 71 against the US dollar intra-day. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.47 per cent to USD 60.88 per barrel. PTI ANS ABM ABM

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