Trading for the week began on a negative note as domestic shares mirrored weakness in other global stock markets. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 187.96 points or 0.64% to 29,233.44, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index fell 62.80 points or 0.69% to 9,045.20, as per the provisional closing data.
Sentiment also took a hit after private weather forecaster Skymet issued a statement today, 27 March 2017, that India's monsoon in 2017 is likely to remain below normal at 95% (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September. This may cause trouble for farmers and decide the fate of Kharif crop that depends heavily on the performance of the southwest Monsoon. Monsoon rain will arrive on the southern tip of Kerala by around June 1 and retreat from the western state of Rajasthan by September.
The Sensex fell 257.86 points, or 0.88% at the day's low of 29,163.54 in afternoon trade, its lowest level since 22 March 2017. The index fell 0.70 points at the day's high of 29,420.70 in early trade. The Nifty fell 83.35 points, or 0.92% at the day's low of 9,024.65 in afternoon trade, its lowest level since 22 March 2017. The index fell 13.15 points, or 0.14% at the day's high of 9,094.85 in early trade.
Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.27%. The BSE Small-Cap index provisionally fell 0.06%. The decline in both these indices was lower than the Sensex's decline in percentage terms.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,630 shares fell and 1,158 shares rose. A total of 231 shares were unchanged.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 8787.48 crore, higher than turnover of Rs 5566.64 crore registered during the previous trading session on 24 March 2017.
Overseas, trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow Jones Industrial Average could decline 135 points at the opening bell today, 27 March 2017.
European shares edged lower as investors adopted a cautious tone on the back of US President Donald Trump's surprise failure to deliver swift health-care reform.
Asian stocks declined as investors continued to worry about the Trump's administration's inability to push through its policy initiatives. US stocks ended lower on Friday, 24 March 2017, as House Republicans withdrew the American Health Care Act after determining that they did not have enough votes to pass the bill. The withdrawal is a major setback for President Donald Trump who had made the repeal and the replacement of the existing Affordable Care Act one of his main campaign pledges.
Back home, telecom shares declined. Idea Cellular (down 3.41%), Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (down 2.55%), Reliance Communications (down 1.55%), MTNL (down 1.44%) and Bharti Airtel (down 0.69%), edged lower.
Telecom tower infrastructure provider Bharti Infratel was up 0.84%.
Metal shares declined. JSW Steel (down 3.93%), Steel Authority of India (down 3.29%), Tata Steel (down 3.23%), Hindalco Industries (down 2.91%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 2.8%), Vedanta (down 2.17%), NMDC (down 2.01%), Bhushan Steel (down 1.46%), Hindustan Copper (down 1.2%) and National Aluminium Company (down 1.2%), edged lower. Hindustan Zinc was up 0.37%.
Engineering and construction major L&T was down 0.45% at Rs 1,544.40. The company announced during trading hours today, 27 March 2017, that the building and factories business segment of the construction arm of L&T has won orders worth Rs 2490 crore. A mega order has been bagged from a premier government organization for the construction of hospital building, a medicaL institute, a nursing college, a school for paramedics, an auditorium, hosteLs, residential quarters along with associated works, in New Delhi. Also, a design and build order has been secured from a prestigious client to construct a technical building in Maharashtra. Yet another design and built contract has been bagged from a major client for the construction of a residential project at Bengaluru, Karnataka. The scope includes construction of shell and core works. The business has also received additional orders from ongoing jobs.
In a separate announcement during trading hours today, 27 March 2017, L&T said that the water and effluent treatment business segment of the construction arm of L&T has won an order worth Rs 705 crore. The project will be executed by L&T in a joint venture with Shriram EPC.This engineering, procurement and construction order has been secured from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation of the United Republic of Tanzania for the extension of the water transmission pipeline from the Lake Victoria Water Supply scheme to Tabora, Nzega and Igunga Towns, Package II.
State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) was up 0.48% at Rs 168. The company announced during trading hours today, 27 March 2017, that it successfully commissioned 250 MW unit based on eco-friendly Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion (CFBC) technology, using low grade coal (lignite) as the primary fuel. The 250 MW lignite based thermal unit is the second unit to be commissioned at Bhavnagar Energy Company (BECL)'s 2x250 MW thermal power project, located at Padva village in Bhavnagar District of Gujarat. The first unit of the project was commissioned earlier in May, 2016. The project is based on CFBC technology - an environment friendly technology to utilize India's large resource of low grade, high moisture lignite.