Extending Monday"s severe rout when the 30-share Sensex slipped over 500 points, Dalal Street marked a second straight session in the red with trading sentiment remaining subdued at the country"s leading bourses amidst lack of corporate earnings visibility and a growing global gloom amidst escalating worries over China.
In a volatile trading session, the 30-share Sensex fell to the lowest level in more than two weeks, closing at 25,580.34 on Tuesday, down by 43.01 points or by 0.17 per cent from its previous close. The NSE Nifty ended at 7,784.65, down by 6.65 points or by 0.09 per cent.
Traders stuck to a cautious stance ahead of the third quarter earnings results starting next week as IT bellwether Infosys sets the ball rolling on January 14, 2016. However, experts have warned that a significant corporate earnings rebound is unlikely for the next two quarters amidst weak credit growth, high debt levels, subdued global demand and rupee depreciation.
A factory gloom has also cast doubts over Asia"s third biggest economy, weighing on sentiment at Dalal Street. India"s manufacturing activity fell into contraction for the first time in more than two years with the PMI declining to 49.1 in December, below the neutral 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction. All eyes will be on December services data set for release on Wednesday.
Extending the worst start to a year since 1988, Asian stocks ended lower as worries over China refused to die down even as the country"s officials vowed measures to quell stock market volatility and restore investor confidence, weighing on sentiment at Dalal Street.
The top losers of the BSE Sensex pack were Coal India Ltd. (down 1.35 per cent), State Bank of India (down 1.22 per cent), Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (down 1.11 per cent), Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (down 1.09 per cent) and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (down 1.06 per cent) among others.
On the Sectoral front, IT and Teck shed 0.42 per cent and 0.41 per cent, respectively.
The Market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE out of total shares traded 3159, shares advanced were 2143 while 902 shares declined and 114 were unchanged.
On the Asia front, stocks in China extended a New Year rout, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite falling 0.26 per cent, while Hang Seng lost almost 1 per cent even after the Chinese securities market regulator vowed to combat stock market volatility by improving a circuit breaker system that saw stock trading halted amidst Monday"s severe sell-off, while the People"s Bank of China pumped in cash into the banking system via the biggest reverse repurchase agreements since September. Japan"s Nikkei 225 ended lower for a second day, extending the worst start to a year since 2008, falling by 0.42 per cent today.