Sensex Sheds 953 Points, Nifty Holds 17,000 Amid Weak Cues

Sensex and Nifty, the two key equity benchmarks, on Monday spiralled lower for the fourth session, in tandem with a bearish trend overseas as hardening interest rates and prospects of a global recession darkened the outlook for riskier assets. On the other hand, the rupee plunged to a fresh all-time low against the US dollar amid foreign fund outflows, which further dented investor sentiment.

The BSE Sensex plunged 953 points (1.64 per cent) to close at 57,145, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 311 points (1.80 per cent) to 17,016.

On the 30-share BSE Sensex pltform, Maruti Suzuki was the top laggard, shedding 5.49 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, ITC, Axis Bank, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, and IndusInd Bank. On the flip side, HCL Technologies, Asian Paints, Infosys, UltraTech Cement, TCS, Nestle India, and Wipro were the gainers, climbing up to 1.28 per cent.

In the broader market, the BSE Smallcap gauge tumbled 3.33 per cent and the Midcap index fell by 2.84 per cent.

All the BSE sectoral indices, except IT ended lower, with realty falling 4.29 per cent, auto (3.86 per cent), utilities (3.72 per cent), power (3.71 per cent), commodities (3.32 per cent), energy (3.17 per cent), oil & gas (3.10 per cent) and telecommunication (2.97 per cent).

A total of 2,925 firms declined, while 660 advanced and 122 remained unchanged.

On Friday, the BSE benchmark had tanked 1,020 points (1.73 per cent) to settle at 58,098 points, while the Nifty had plummeted 302 points (1.72 per cent) to end at 17,327 points.

“Nifty fell for the fourth consecutive session driven by weak global cues and a falling rupee. Global risk assets including equities extended their selloff on Monday as fears of faster inflation and global recession continued to rise,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said the soaring dollar as a result of aggressive monetary tightening by the US Fed, slowing economic growth and rising demand from cautious investors are causing turbulence in the global equity markets.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended sharply lower. European bourses were trading in the red in mid-session deals. The US markets ended in the negative territory on Friday.

Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 0.75 per cent to $85.50 per barrel.

The rupee plunged 58 paise to close at an all-time low of 81.67 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday as the strengthening of the American currency overseas and risk-averse sentiment among investors weighed on the local unit.

Foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth a net Rs 2,899.68 crore on Friday, according to data available with the BSE.