The Sensex tumbled 1,020 points while the Nifty crashed below the 17,350-mark on Friday as a flurry of rate hikes by global central banks spooked investors and sparked a global sell-off. The rupee breached the 81-mark against the US dollar in intra-day trade for the first time ever, adding to the negative sentiment.
Sliding for the third straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 1,020.80 points or 1.73 per cent to close at 58,098.92. Similarly, the NSE Nifty plummeted 302.45 points or 1.72 per cent to end at 17,327.35. PowerGrid led the Sensex losers’ chart with a drop of 7.93 per cent, followed by M&M, SBI, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, HDFC and IndusInd Bank.
Only three counters managed to close in the green — Sun Pharma, Tata Steel and ITC, spurting up to 1.53 per cent. “A rise in the US 10-year bond yield and a strong dollar index influenced FIIs to flee emerging markets. Fall in liquidity in the banking system, a weak currency and a current premium valuation have set the market outlook bearish for the near term.
“With aggressive monetary policy action by central banks, the global growth engines are in a slowdown mode, whereas India is currently in a better position with a pickup in credit growth and an uptick in tax collection. The current volatility might persist for a while. Investors are advised to wait and watch until the dust settles,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
On a weekly basis, the Sensex lost 741.87 points or 1.26 per cent, while the Nifty declined 203.50 points or 1.16 per cent. Joseph Thomas, Head of Research, Emkay Wealth Management, said the domestic equity markets traded lower mainly tracking the developments in overseas markets, especially the US. “The Fed rate hike and the stance that rate hikes would continue till inflation is contained displayed in ample measure an aggressive and hawkish Fed. Even if its costs a little bit of economic growth so be it, has been the stated approach….This has affected the equity markets, and this has sent its reverberations across the world.
“More than anything else, it is the expectations of higher interest rates and lower liquidity that is at the back of the mind of many an investor. High inflation, widening trade deficit, weakening currencies and a likely slowdown in growth may entrap some of the emerging market economies,” he added. In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge declined 2.28 per cent and the smallcap index slipped 1.92 per cent.
All the BSE sectoral indices ended in the red, with utilities tumbling 3.48 per cent, followed by power (3.40 per cent), realty (2.97 per cent), financial services (2.56 per cent), telecommunication (2.17 per cent), capital goods (2.06 per cent) and consumer discretionary (1.82 per cent). World markets slumped following interest rate hikes in the US, Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland, among others.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower. European bourses were trading in the red in mid-session deals. The US markets ended in negative territory on Thursday. Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.87 per cent to USD 88.77 per barrel.
The rupee slumped 19 paise to close at a fresh lifetime low of 80.98 against the US dollar on Friday, after breaching the 81-mark in intra-day trade. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth a net Rs 2,509.55 crore on Thursday, according to data available with the BSE.