The benchmark indices fell sharply on Thursday due to cautious market sentiment ahead of the release of growth estimates data for the gross domestic product, or the GDP, due later in the day. The markets also declined ahead of the expiry of derivative contracts.
A derivative is a contract made on the trading floor to buy or sell a commodity at a predetermined price at a future date. The derivative contracts expire on the last Thursday of the month.
The BSE Sensex fell 453.41 points (1.35%) to close at 33,149.35 on Thursday. The NSE Nifty declined 134.75 points (1.30%) to finish at 10,226.55.
According to a Reuters poll of analysts, India’s GDP is likely to have grown 6.4% from the July-September quarter a year ago, and from 5.7% in the preceding quarter. Bloomberg has also forecast a GDP growth of 6.4% in the quarter, based on the median estimate of 46 economists it polled.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Bajaj Auto and Coal India. The major losers were Kotak Mahindra, State Bank of India, Tata Motors DVR, Reliance Industries and Axis Bank.
On the broader Nifty, the five stocks which rose the most were GAIL, Bosch, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Bharti Airtel. The biggest losers were United Phosphorus Limited, Hindalco, the State Bank of India, Reliance Industries and Axis Bank.
Other major Asian markets also declined on Thursday, with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei 225 index. The Hong Kong index fell over 446 points, or 1.51%. The Taiwan TSEC 50 Index declined 153.11 points, and the Shanghai index 20.67 points.
The rupee weakened against the US dollar, and was trading at 64.58 a dollar at 3.49 pm, down 26 paise from Wednesday’s close at 64.32.