Sensex Sinks 342 Points, Nifty Trades Below 17,650 Following US Fed’s Aggressive Stance

Sensex and Nifty, the two key equity benchmarks, on Thursday opened in the red following the US Federal Reserve’s 75 basis points (Bps) rate hike sent global markets into a tizzy.

The move by the Fed was widely predicted. The projected path spooked global markets, sending equities sharply lower, the dollar to a new 20-year high, and deepened the inverting US Treasury yield curve.

At 10.45 am, the BSE Sensex was trading at 59.114, down 342 points, while the broader NSE Nifty was at 17,617, down 100 points.

On the 30-share Sensex platform, ITC emerged the top gainer, up 1.83 per cent. HUL, TechM, TCS, Nestle, Asian Paint, Maruti, and others were trading in the positive zone. On the flip side, Bajaj Finserv was the prime loser, down 2.54 per cent. PowerGrid, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, NTPC, Reliance, and others were on the losing side.

The mood of the 30-share Sensex market was broadly negative as 12 scrips were advancing, while 18 were declining.

In the broader markets as well, Nifty MidCap and SmallCap indices slipped up to 0.1 per cent.

Sectorally, barring Nifty FMCG and Nifty Media, which opened with marginal gains, most sectors nosedived in negative territory. Nifty IT and Nifty Bank indices declined the most – up to 1 per cent.

In the previous session on Wednesday, Sensex drops 262 points to settle at 59,456, while the NSE Nifty went lower by 97 points to end at 17,718.

“The big question from the Indian market perspective is whether India’s outperformance will continue in the present global risk off context. Investors can remain optimistic but be cautious since India’s valuations are on the higher side,” V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Asian stocks hit a two-year low, with shares tumbling in China, Japan, and South Korea. Hong Kong’s benchmark equity indicator headed for lows last seen in 2011, with Chinese tech stocks leading falls. Nikkei lost 1 per cent in Japan.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.49 per cent to $90.27 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 461.04 crore, as per exchange data.

Meanwhile, the rupee fell 51 paise to an all-time low of 80.47 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike and its hawkish stance weighed on investor sentiments. On Wednesday, the rupee declined 22 paise to close at 79.96 against the dollar.