Equity gauges close flat but telecom, banking stocks plunge after SC’s order on overdues

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 24: Equity gauges wiped out early gains on Thursday and witnessed bouts of volatility as investor sentiment swayed by the trends of Maharashtra and Haryana assembly poll results.

The BSE S&P Sensex closed 38 points lower at 39,020 while the Nifty 50 was down by 22 points at 11,583. All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red except for Nifty realty. Nifty PSU bank fell sharply by 3.45 per cent after the Supreme Court upheld a demand by the government that telecom companies pay Rs 92,000 crore in overdue levies and interest as it accepted the government definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

With the judgment, said reports, the apex court has exposed the incumbent telcos to potential demands by the Department of Telecom of up to Rs 1.33 lakh crore. Vodafone Idea stock plunged by 23.36 per cent quickly and closed at Rs 4.33 per share.

Bharti Infratel slipped by nearly 8 per cent, Yes Bank by 5.3 per cent, State Bank of India by 4.4 per cent and IndusInd Bank by 3.6 per cent. Software major Infosys dropped by 2.36 per cent as the US Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe into whistleblower claims that the company followed unethical accounting practices to boost revenue and profit.

The other prominent losers were Grasim, GAIL, Bharat Petroleum, IndianOil Corporation and Hindalco. However, index heavyweight Reliance Industries gained by 3 per cent, Eicher Motors by 2.9 per cent, HCL Technologies and Titan by 2.1 per cent each.

Meanwhile, Asian shares surged ahead as corporate earnings and a ceasefire in northern Syria helped prop up the sentiment. But the backdrop of trade and Brexit uncertainties continued to linger. Japan’s Nikkei advanced by 0.55 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi gained by 0.24 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up by 0.87 per cent.

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