Equity indices end on negative note, auto stocks top losers

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Equity benchmark indices ended with a negative note on Monday as bears tightened their grip with auto and metal stocks witnessing massive losses.

Apart from muted corporate earnings, a big worry for investors was asset quality concerns reported by the banking and financial sector.

At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was down 196 points or 0.5 per cent at 37,686 while the Nifty 50 levelled 95 points lower to 11,189.

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Except for IT, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in negative zone. Nifty auto tumbled by 3.6 per cent, media by 3.3 per cent, metal by 3 per cent and pharma by 1.7 per cent.

Among stocks, Indiabulls Housing Finance plunged by more than 12 per cent to close the day at Rs 549 per share after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy accused the company of embezzling funds from the National Housing Bank.

Shares of automobile companies were the worst sufferers after the government proposed a hike in registration fees for old and new vehicles besides changes in scrappage policy to give a boost to electric vehicles. Tata Motors skidded by 6.4 per cent, Bajaj Auto by 4.9 per cent, Eicher Motors by 4.7 per cent and Maruti by over 4.5 per cent.

Vodafone Idea tanked 27 per cent at Rs 6.77 per share on the BSE after posting a net loss of Rs 4,874 crore in the quarter ended June as against a net profit of Rs 256.5 crore during the previous quarter ended June 2018.
Grasim slipped by 9.6 per cent, mining major Vedanta by 5.3 per cent, Bharti Infratel by 5 per cent, Zee Entertainment by 4.2 per cent and UltraTech Cement by 3.1 per cent.

However, ICICI Bank edged higher by 2.9 per cent after the bank reported a standalone net profit of Rs 1,908 crore in Q1 FY20 on account of lower provisioning for bad loans and higher retail loan growth. The private sector lender had posted net loss of Rs 120 crore in the same period a year ago.

IndusInd Bank was up by 1.1 per cent. IT majors like HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys showed marginal gains of less than 1 per cent each.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks dipped as the US and Chinese trade negotiators meet in Shanghai this week for their first in-person talks since a G-20 truce last month, However, investor expectations are low for a breakthrough.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that China might not want to sign a trade deal until after the 2020 election in the hope that they could then negotiate more favourable terms with a different president. The United States is due to hold the presidential election in 2020.

The biggest decline was in South Korea on earnings concerns, with equity benchmarks also slipping in Japan and Hong Kong. China was little changed as markets anxiously counted down to a likely cut in US interest rates this week.

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