India’s Nifty 50, Sensex drop on profit-taking near record highs

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s blue-chip Nifty 50 and Sensex indexes declined on Monday due to profit-taking as they approached their all-time highs, although the broader indexes extended their rally to record levels.

The Nifty index closed 0.37% lower at 18,755.45, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.34% to 63,168.30. They rose as much as 0.30% earlier, with the Nifty coming within 10 points of its record high of 18,887.60.

“There is nervousness in domestic equities near record high levels due to concerns over high valuations and monsoons,” said G Chokkalingam, founder and head of research at Equinomics Research Pvt.

“While positive triggers such as slide in inflation, the fall in crude oil prices and strong macroeconomic fundamentals are in place for a sustained rally, monsoon rains could decide the near-term trajectory of the benchmarks.”

However, the more domestically focused Nifty midcap 100 index rose as much as 0.72% to a fresh record high and the Nifty smallcap 100 hit an over one-year high. They logged gains of 0.04% and 0.27%, respectively, at the close.

Meanwhile, global equities were also mostly lower due to caution ahead of China’s rate decision on Tuesday and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on Wednesday and Thursday. [MKTS/GLOB]

In India, 10 of the 13 major sectoral indexes declined.

Among individual stocks, Larsen & Toubro rose as much as 2.24% to a new record high after Macquarie said the company would be a key beneficiary of infrastructure spending in India and the Middle East. The stock closed marginally lower.

Among the top losers was Hero MotoCorp, with a 1.75% drop. The two-wheeler maker’s shares have fallen for four sessions in a row amid the corporate affairs ministry’s probe into the alleged diversion of funds.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)