Sensex edges lower; weak car sales, tax data hurt
Indian shares fell on Tuesday in lacklustre trading as a host of poor economic data cooled sentiments while investors waited for stimuli from the federal budget due on Friday.
Trading remained thin as heavy rains lashed Mumbai, India’s financial capital, for a second straight day, disrupting road, rail and air traffic. The authorities declared a public holiday in the city.
Auto stocks were among the top losers on the Nifty. The country’s auto index was trading 0.36% lower.
Car sales fell for the eighth straight month in June, with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s biggest auto seller, posting a 14% fall in sales.
Collection from the government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) fell to below the 1 trillion rupees ($ 14.50 billion) for the first time in the current fiscal year, newspapers said. Lower tax collections are typically seen as a projection of weak consumer demand.
Several indicators – automobile sales, rail freight, petroleum product consumption, domestic air traffic and imports – indicate a slowdown in domestic consumption.
“There are a lot of hopes and expectations from the budget, the markets are looking for fresh results from it,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities.
“Budget outcome will give market a direction here on.”
The Nifty was 0.36% lower at 11,823.25 as 0529 GMT, while the benchmark Sensex was down 0.38% at 39,533.14.
Yes Bank Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd were among the top losers on the NSE index. Yes Bank shares were down as much as 6.73% while Tata Motors shares fell more than 3%.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd shares fell as much as 2.55%.
Meanwhile, lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd was up as much as 3.94%. Media reports on Tuesday said lenders to the company have agreed to sign an inter-creditor agreement and consider a resolution plan to rescue it from outstanding debts.
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