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Nifty closes at 7-month low, Sensex below 26,000

The rally in the previous session proved to be a momentary breather as the NSE Nifty slumped to a 7-month low of 7,908 and the Sensex below 26,000 on Monday, hit by talk of higher taxation after Prime Minister’s remarks. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said market participants should contribute to nation-building in a “fair, efficient and transparent way” and promised more “sound and prudent policies and reform measures”, which was seen in some quarters as a prelude to higher taxation by way of long-term capital gains tax on investment in shares.

Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified on Sunday that the government has no such plans, investors were already a nervous lot. This triggered selling, which saw the benchmark index fall for the eighth time in nine days to extend the last week’s losing spell. The 50-share Nifty after cracking below the 7,900-mark to hit a low of 7,893.80 finally settled lower by 77.50 points, or 0.97%, at 7,908.25. This is its lowest closing since May 24 this year at 7,748.85.

The BSE Sensex resumed lower and dropped further before ending at a fresh one-month low 25,807.10, a loss of 233.60 points, or 0.90%. It had risen by 61.10 points on Friday. Short-covering ahead of December month expiry in the derivatives segment on Thursday and value-buying in select stocks helped the indices recoup the losses to some extent, brokers said.

Foreign capital outflows continued, tracking other global markets. Investors see equities to remain volatile in the near term as most foreign funds will be on year-ending holidays amid absence of any major trigger.

Cipla took the biggest knock as it plunged by 4.94% followed by Lupin 2.78%, Tata Steel (2.64%), ONGC and SBI (2.07%). From the gainers pack, HUL gained the most by rising 1.25%, Bharti Airtel 0.25% and TCS 0.17%.

Meanwhile, foreign funds sold shares worth Rs 1,462.65 crore last Friday, as per the provisional data. Major Asian indices were down as investors cashed in on a recent global rally fuelled by expectations from the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump. Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.16% but Shanghai Composite rose 0.40%. Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur markets remained closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Europe was mixed in afternoon trade as indices in London and Paris moved up by 0.06% and 0.10%. Frankfurt was down 0.05%. Back home, the mid-cap index fell 2.17% while the small-cap lost 2.10%. Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 25 ended lower. Among BSE sectoral indices, realty fell by 3.61%, followed by metal 2.85%, healthcare (2.58%), PSU (2.05%) and power (1.79%).