BSE Sensex and Nifty fell sharply to mark their fourth loss in a row. The fall reflects some profit-taking after market hit record highs before the budget. The budget unveiled on Thursday was generally well received although some analysts said it lacked major reforms and details about how the government will meet the fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent.
Market analyst Ambareesh Baliga says “though the budget is forward looking, it did not give instant gratification what typically markets look for. The markets had run up sharply and it is natural to have some correction.”
Mr. Baliga does not expect markets to see steep corrections further as many investors who had missed the rally could buy on dips.
Strong selling pressure was seen in sectors that had run up sharply ahead of the Budget. Banking, metal, oil & gas, power, and capital goods sub-indices on the BSE were down between 2-4 per cent. Realty stocks suffered the most with the BSE sub-index plunging over 5 per cent.
BHEL fell over 8 per cent to be the biggest Nifty loser. JSPL, DLF, NMDC and Hindalco declined between 5-7 per cent. Among the banking stocks, SBI, PNB and Bank of Baroda fell nearly 4-5 per cent. Oil & gas heavyweight RIL fell 3 per cent and while ONGC declined 2 per cent.
Some buying was seen in IT stocks after Infosys first-quarter profit beat estimates. Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech and Wipro were up nearly 1-2 per cent.
Some buying was also seen in healthcare stocks. Dr. Reddy’s Lab and Sun Pharma were up over 1-2 per cent.
The Sensex ended 348 points lower at 25,024 while Nifty settled at 7,459, down 108 points.