BSE benchmark Sensex dropped over 200 points in early trade Friday led by heavy losses in Tata Motors, and weak cues from global markets on renewed concerns over US-China trade tiff. The 30-share index was trading 140.62 points, or 0.38 per cent, lower at 36,830.47. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty dropped 33.40 points, or 0.30 per cent to 11,036.00. On Thursday, the Sensex ended 4.14 points, or 0.01 per cent, lower at 36,971.09; while the broader Nifty settled 6.95 points, or 0.06 per cent, higher at 11,069.40. In morning session on Friday, Tata Motors was the biggest losers on both indices, cracking over 14 per cent, after the auto major reported its biggest ever quarterly net loss of Rs 26,960.8 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, hit by one-time asset impairment in its struggling British arm Jaguar Land Rover.
This is the third consecutive quarterly loss reported by the company, which had registered a net profit of Rs 1,214.6 crore in the October-December quarter of 2017-18. Other losers include, Sun Pharma, Vedanta, L&T, SBI, ICICI Bank, M&M, Tata Steel, Infosys, HDFC and Tata Steel, falling up to 1.58 per cent. On the other hand, PowerGrid, HCL Tech, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, Coal India and RIL were the top gainers, rising up to 1.38 per cent. According to traders, besides heavy losses in Tata Motors, investor sentiment turned weak as fears of a global economic slowdown resurfaced after US President Donald Trump said that he doesn't expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline in trade war negotiations between the two economic superpowers.
A top White House adviser Thursday said Washington and Beijing were still a "sizeable distance" apart in the trade talks, and no date has been set for a meeting between the countries' leaders. The remarks helped deepen losses on Wall Street, which opened lower on Thursday following downbeat economic forecasts for major European economies. Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.87 per cent lower on Thursday. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei plunged 1.63 per cent, Korea's Kospi cracked 1.12 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.47 per cent in their early sessions on Friday. On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 418.01 crore Thursday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 294.11 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed. The rupee, meanwhile, appreciated 5 paise against US dollar to 71.40. The benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.46 per cent to USD 61.17 per barrel.