Stocks staged a mild recovery in early afternoon trade after hitting intraday low in mid-morning trade. At 12:26 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 98.73 points or 0.26% at 37,925.64. The Nifty 50 index was down 32.40 points or 0.28% at 11,438.30. Cement stocks declined.
The Sensex was trading below the psychological 38,000 level after falling below that level in early trade. Stocks edged lower in early trade, with the Sensex falling below the psychological 38,000 level tracking mostly negative Asian stocks. Key benchmark indices continued to trade lower in morning trade. Weakness persisted on the bourses in mid-morning trade.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was off 0.23%, outperforming the Sensex. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was off 0.32%, underperforming the Sensex.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1010 shares rose and 1470 shares fell. A total of 119 shares were unchanged.
Cement stocks declined. Ambuja Cements (down 1.78%), ACC (down 1.31%) and UltraTech Cement (down 0.38%) fell. Shree Cement (up 0.12%) rose.
Grasim Industries was off 1.65%. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
Tata Motors fell 1.69%. Jaguar Land Rover during market hours today reported total retail sales of 36,144 vehicles in July 2018, down 21.6% year on year, primarily reflecting transitional issues in certain markets. For July Jaguar retail sales were 10,992 and Land Rover retail sales were 25,152 vehicles, down 15.2% and 24% respectively on the same month last year.
Retails for July were down in China (46.9%), reflecting continued market volatility in the first month of the duty change as well as trade tensions. Sales were also down in Europe (26.5%) and the UK (18.3%), impacted by the industry-wide issue of delays in WLTP certification of 2019 model year vehicles.
Retail sales were also down in North America (9.5%), resulting from softer industry volumes (down more than 3%) combined with foregoing some higher discounted business and later timing for new model year launches this year compared to a year ago.
Zensar Technologies rose 5.77% to Rs 1,264.50 after consolidated net profit rose 13.32% to Rs 83.91 crore on 11.04% increase in net sales to Rs 904.66 crore in Q1 June 2018 over Q4 March 2018. Separately, Zensar Technologies said that its board has set 10 September 2018 as record date for ascertaining entitlement to sub-divided shares. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 9 August 2018. At its meeting in April 2018, the company's board had approved a stock split in the ratio of five shares for every one share held.
On the macro front, the government will declare industrial production (IIP) data for June at 17:30 IST today, 10 August 2018.
Overseas, most Asian stock markets dropped as trade and broader geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on over investor sentiment. Japan's economy expanded in the April-June period after a mild contraction in the previous three months. The world's third-largest economy expanded at an annualized pace of 1.9% in the second quarter of 2018 after a revised 0.9% contraction in the first quarter.
The US stock market ended mostly lower on Thursday, as investors weighed the continuing trade dispute between the US and China against the backdrop of strong corporate earnings and a healthy economic performance.