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Indian stocks start fresh week in red; Adani Ports gains, other group shares decline

New Delhi: Indian stock markets started the fresh week on a subdued note and lost nearly half a percentage point.
Sensex closed at 60,506.90 points, down 334.98 points or 0.55 per cent, whereas Nifty closed at 17,764.60 points, down 89.45 points or 0.50 per cent. Among the Nifty 50 stocks, Divis Labs, JSW Steel, Hindalco, Tata Steel, and Infosys were the top five losers, while Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, BPCL, Apollo Hospitals, and Hero Motocorp were the top five gainers, National Stock Exchange data showed.
"The recent price action on the benchmark front indicates uncertainty among the participants and that might continue in the near term. Traders should thus maintain their focus more on identifying opportunities in the sectors that are showing resilience. However, it's easier said than done as we're seeing restricted participation. Also, managing overnight risk is equally important citing the prevailing volatile scenario," said Ajit Mishra, VP - of Technical Research, at Religare Broking.
The Adani Group companies' shares, which are in news for over a week now, continue to decline on Monday, though with varying degrees.

Adani Enterprises declined 2.0 per cent, Adani Transmission 10.0 per cent, Adani Green Energy 5.0, Adani Wilmar 5 per cent, Adani Power 5 per cent, Adani Total Gas per cent. The only Adani Group company -- Adani Ports -- closed the day 8.6 per cent higher.
"After the Adani crisis broke out, the market has been on a twin track - crash in Adani stocks and stability in the rest of the market. The banking segment, which also came under pressure on fears of the crisis impacting banks, has recovered," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
"The crisis is unlikely to pose any systemic risk to the Indian banking system. It appears that the Adani crisis' impact on the market is slowly dying down. Excellent results from ITC and SBI are likely to support the market," Vijayakumar added.
The January 24 report by a US-based short seller Hindenburg Research claimed the Adani Group of having weak business fundamentals and .accused it of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. In a long response, Adani Group had said the report by Hindenburg Research was not an attack on any specific company but a "calculated attack" on India, its growth story, and ambitions. It added the report was "nothing but a lie".
Going ahead, much will also depend on the RBI's monetary policy decisions and outlook.

The three-day Reserve Bank of India monetary policy committee meeting commenced on Monday with the outcome of the deliberations set to be announced on February 8.
"We believe that RBI will go slow with the rate hikes now since inflation is at 5.72 per cent below the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent. The US Fed has also slowed its pace of interest rate hikes with a 25 bps hike recently. With a benign outlook on global inflation, central banks across the world have now reduced their pace of rate hikes," said Apurva Sheth, Head of Market Perspectives and Research, Samco Securities.
"We believe that RBI will hike rates by another 25 bps in February meeting. This will push the rates to a seven-year high of 6.5 per cent. RBI will go with a wait-and-watch approach after this meeting and slowly shift focus on growth," Sheth added.
In its December monetary policy committee meeting, the RBI raised the policy repo rate, the rate at which the RBI lends money to all commercial banks, by 35 basis points (bps) to 6.25 per cent.
RBI has hiked the key policy rate by 225 basis points since May 2022 to 6.25 per cent to cool off domestic retail inflation that stayed above its upper tolerance limit for nearly three quarters. Raising interest rates typically cools demand in the economy, thereby putting a brake on inflation.
SBI Research, in a report published before the RBI meeting started today, expects.believes India's central bank will pause the policy rate hike during he February 6-8 review meeting. (ANI)

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