Markets extend losses as IT, bank stocks skid

Mumbai, Nov 22 (PTI) Equity benchmarks treaded lower for the second straight day on Friday, weighed by losses in IT and bank stocks, as investors baulked at expanding their portfolios amid stretched valuations and growth concerns.

After trading on a weak note through the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 215.76 points, or 0.53 per cent, lower at 40,359.41.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 54 points, or 0.45 per cent, down at 11,914.40.

During the week, the Sensex inched up 2.72 points, while the Nifty gained 18.95 points.

Infosys was the top loser in the Sensex pack on Friday, dropping 2.89 per cent, followed by TCS, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel and HCL Tech.

IT stocks came under selling pressure following reports of changes in US work visa requirements aimed at protecting American workers, traders said.

On the other hand, Tata Steel gained 3.74 per cent, NTPC 2.35 per cent, Vedanta 2.27 per cent and ONGC 2.18 per cent.

'Market is on an edge given high valuations for blue-chips, not providing a headroom for main indices to move higher trading at P/E of 26x on trailing basis. Lack of new trigger in the coming week and focus being on India's weak GDP data to be announced next week, is impacting the market.

'RBI's interpretation of this data and possible change in stance from the current accommodative monetary policy to neutral may hurt the rally. Fresh concerns over stringent norms for US H1-B visa dragged IT heavyweights,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Sectorally, BSE IT, teck, telecom, capital goods, bankex, industrials and consumer durables fell up to 2.21 per cent.

On the other hand, metal, power, utilities, basic materials, energy and auto gained up to 2.08 per cent.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 0.14 per cent.

On the global front, equities ticked higher even as the US-China trade tensions remained an overhang.

In Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul settled in the green, while Shanghai finished with losses.

European equities were also trading on a positive note in their respective early deals.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated marginally to 71.79 against the US dollar in intra-day trade.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, dipped 0.03 per cent to USD 63.95 per barrel. PTI ANS ABMABM