Profit booking, quarterly results drag equity markets lower

Mumbai:Profit booking, coupled with disappointing quarterly results and negative global cues, depressed the Indian equity markets on Tuesday. Consequently, the key indices traded on a flat-to-negative note during the mid-afternoon session, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), banking and consumer durables stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched down by 16.40 points or 0.19 per cent to 8,492.30 points. The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,790.05 points, traded at 27,680.72 points (at 2.30 p.m.) -- down 65.94 points or 0.24 per cent from the previous close at 27,746.66 points. It touched a high of 27,824.50 points and a low of 27,637.98 points so far during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,512 declines and 1,069 advances. On Monday, the benchmark indices were buoyed by expectations of robust quarterly results. The barometer index was up 73.14 points or 0.26 per cent, while the Nifty edged up by 18.25 points or 0.21 per cent. Initially on Tuesday, the benchmark indices opened on a flat note, in sync with their Asian peers. The equity markets soon rose on the back of the government's decision to infuse capital into public sector banks.  In a statement, the Ministry of Finance announced a capital infusion of Rs 22,915 crore towards the recapitalisation of 13 public sector banks during 2016-17. However, the key indices ceded their gains, as profit booking, disappointing quarterly results and weak global crude oil prices hampered the upward trajectory. Besides, reduced chances of further monetary policy easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) in its upcoming monetary policy review dampened investors' sentiments. Nevertheless, value buying, healthy progress of monsoon season and expectations of GST (Goods and Services Tax) getting passed supported prices at the lower levels. "Quarterly results till now have not given any incentive to chase prices higher. There has been some profit booking as well," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said. According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, Nifty traded on a flat-to-negative note due to profit booking. "Most of the banking and auto sector stocks faced resistance at higher levels due to profit booking, while IT sector stocks traded with mixed sentiments," Desai said.