Indian shares ended lower in the last trading session of the year on Tuesday as investors booked year-end profits. Selling in banking, auto, and IT sectors dragged the markets further. Losses in index heavyweights like RIL, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank, and TCS also contributed to the fall.
Asian shares were also mostly lower as investors locked in profits after a buoyant year of gains, driven in recent weeks by hopes of an imminent US-China trade deal.
The BSE Sensex ended 304 points lower at 41,254, while Nifty50 settled 87 points lower at 12,167.
For the year, the Sensex rose 14 percent and the Niifty50 rallied 12 percent, giving the best returns since 2017. Both benchmarks hit multiple record highs this year and have gained sharply more than in 2018, even as economic growth slipped to a five-year low this year amid a slowdown in demand. Both indices gained around 3 percent in 2018.
Broader markets outperformed benchmarks with Nifty Midcap and Nifty Smallcap up 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
Among stocks, Coal India, NTPC, GAIL, Tata Motors, and Grasim were top gainers on the Nifty50 index, while Zee, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto, and Eicher Motors led the losses.
Most sectoral indices ended the day in the red. Nifty Media fell the most, down 1.5 percent, followed by Nifty Auto, which fell 0.9 percent. Nifty IT also lost 0.8 percent and Nifty Bank was lower by 0.6 percent for the day. Nifty Pharma and Nifty FMCG fell 0.5 percent, and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Globally, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.46 percent lower, set for its weakest performance since December 4. The index has gained nearly 16 percent this year, a sharp turnaround from a 16.2 percent drop last year but lagging a 23.8 percent year-to-date gain in MSCI’s global share index. The Asian index gained 33.5 percent in 2017, about the same as its total rise over the previous decade.
Australian shares ended their best year since 2009 1.78 percent lower, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished down 0.46 percent in a half-day session.
First Published: IST