Markets

Sensex, Nifty off to a muted start; Infosys climbs 2%, ICICI Bank falls 3%

NEW DELHI: Indian key indices Sensex and Nifty registered a cautious opening on Monday, tracking mixed global cues. Investors were cautious after an official data showed that China's economy slowed a little in the second quarter.

Official data showed China's economy grew 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, cooling from the 6.8 per cent growth registered in each of the previous three quarters, Reuters reported.

Weak domestic macroeconomic indicators too hit the sentiment. India's trade deficit widened to its highest in more than five years in June, the trade ministry said on Friday, driven largely by a surge in oil prices and a weaker rupee.

Earlier, a set of government data had shown that the retail inflation accelerated to a five-month high of 5 per cent in June compared to 4.87 per cent in May, while industrial production fell to 3.2 per cent in May compared to 4.9 per cent in April.

Around 9:30 am, the BSE Sensex was 4 points down at 36,537, while the Nifty50 was 20 points down at 10,999.

In the Nifty pack, 19 stocks were advancing, while 31 were declining, whereas in the Sensex kitty, 13 stocks were in the green and 18 were in the red.

ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and Tata Motors were the top drags on the Sensex index.

Bank and auto stocks were among the biggest losers, however, select FMCG and IT stocks were holding up.

Infosys climbed nearly 2 per cent, leading the pack of Sensex gainers.

The IT giant on Friday came out with a mixed set of quarterly numbers for the June quarter. India's second-largest software service s major posted a net profit of Rs 3,612 crore, up 3.70 per cent, from Rs 3,483 crore in the same quarter last year.

On the other hand, ICICI Bank cracked nearly 3 per cent after reports that the private lender has launched a second external probe to examine allegations of irregularities in 31 loan accounts raised by a third whistleblower complaint, said two people familiar with the matter.

Asian shares fell on Monday as new data showed China's economy slowed slightly in the second quarter, compounded by fears of a full-scale Sino-US trade war looming over markets, Reuters reported.

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