BSE benchmark Sensex spiralled lower for the third consecutive session on Thursday to finish below the 60,000-level, weighed by hectic selling in IT, energy and finance stocks amid a sell-off in European equities. A depreciating rupee and continued selling by foreign investors also affected the market sentiment, traders said. The 30-share BSE index ended 634.20 points or 1.06 per cent lower at 59,464.62. Similarly, the NSE Nifty plunged 181.40 points or 1.01 per cent to 17,757.
Bajaj Finserv was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.57 per cent, followed by Infosys, TCS, Sun Pharma, HUL, HCL Tech, Dr Reddy’s, HDFC and Reliance Industries. On the other hand, PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, Maruti and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers, spurting up to 4.86 per cent.
The market breadth was negative, with 23 of the 30 Sensex counters closing in the red. “Persistent concern over global inflation and likely Fed rate hike acted as the major headwinds for the domestic market to tumble for the third consecutive day,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
“High volatility due to rising bond yields is pressuring foreign investors to pull out funds from highly valued markets like India.
As the recent earnings failed to excite the market, the on-going global volatility drained investor confidence,” he added. On the results front, Asian Paints’ consolidated net profit fell 18.5 per cent to Rs 1,031.29 crore for the third quarter ended December 2021.
FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd reported an 18.68 per cent increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,300 crore for the third quarter. Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd, said the markets are currently facing global headwinds and there’s no relief from the domestic front as well.
“However, we feel it’s a healthy correction so far and expect Nifty to hold the 17,600 zone. For traders, the major challenge is to tackle the volatility amid the earnings season. We feel it’s prudent to limit positions and prefer a hedged approach until markets resume the uptrend,” he noted.
Sector-wise, BSE IT, teck, energy, healthcare and FMCG shed as much as 1.69 per cent, while power, utilities, metal and realty posted gains. In the broader markets, the BSE midcap index dipped 0.07 per cent, while the smallcap gauge inched up 0.05 per cent. Asian markets ticked higher after China cut benchmark mortgage rates to support the embattled property sector. Bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Shanghai closed in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were witnessing intense selling pressure in mid-session deals as investors wagered on faster rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. International oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1 per cent to USD 87.56 per barrel. The rupee on Thursday slipped 7 paise to close at 74.51 against the US dollar.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 2,704.77 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.
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