Sensex Slides 337 Points, Nifty Holds 17,600 Following Fed’s Aggressive Rate Hike

Sensex and Nifty, the two key equity benchmarks, on Thursday declined tracking weak global market trends following the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike and hawkish stance.

The BSE Sensex dropped 337 points (0.57 per cent) to settle at 59,119. During the day, it tanked 624 points (1.04 per cent) to 58,832. On the other hand, the broader NSE Nifty went lower by 88 points (0.50 per cent) to end at 17,629.

On the 30-share Sensex platform, Power Grid, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, and UltraTech Cement were the major losers. On the flip side, Titan, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Maruti, and ITC were among the gainers.

The broader markets, on the contrary, ended in the positive zone, with the BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices advancing up to 0.5 per cent.

Sectorally, indices ended mixed with the Nifty FMCG index rising over 1 per cent, while the Nifty Bank, and Financial Services indices falling up to 1.4 per cent each.

“Fed turned more hawkish than anticipated increasing its rate forecast to 4.4 per cent by the end of 2022. The indication is that 125 bps more rate hikes can be expected in the next 2 policy meetings scheduled this year. Following this, the US dollar index rose above 111, depreciating INR to beyond 80. Indian stock market was able to sustain its resilience with limited cuts but if the rupee continues its weakness domestic market would turn less attractive for foreign investors in the short-term, effecting performance,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

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.

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 the negative territory on Wednesday.

The international oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.55 per cent to $90.32 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth a net Rs 461.04 crore on Wednesday after two days of buying, according to data available with the BSE. 

Meanwhile, the rupee plunged 90 paise to close at an all-time low of 80.86 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike and its hawkish stance weighed on investor sentiments. It finally ended at 80.86, down 90 paise over its previous close of 79.96.