Mumbai: A massive slide in global stock markets, along with fears of continued foreign fund outflows and a weak rupee plunged India’s key equity indices by over two per cent on Thursday. The correction was partly triggered after International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde’s commented that stock market valuations had been “extremely high”. This spurred a meltdown in the US markets overnight, spilling over to Asia on Thursday.
Consequently, investors’ sentiments at both the key domestic indices were also impacted. In a volatile trading session on Thursday, the barometer index, Sensex, had crashed over 1,000 points at one point. In addition to global equities slump, expectations that the US Federal Reserve will continue to hike rates, leading to a greater exodus of foreign funds from domestic indices, also hurt demand for the Indian currency and equities.
On Thursday, the Indian rupee touched a fresh low of 74.48 before closing at 74.12, recovering eight paise from its previous close of 74.20 per US dollar. Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, automobile, IT and capital goods stocks. All 19 sector-based indices on the BSE, except the metals index, traded in the red. Index-wise, the NSE Nifty50 closed at 10,234.65, down 225.45 points or 2.16 per cent.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 34,063.82 points, settled at 34,001.15 points, down 759.74 points or 2.19 per cent. The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 34,325.18 and a low of 33,723.53. “Market fell to a six month low after the US market dragged down yesterday due to concerns over US Fed rate hike trajectory and trade tensions,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, told IANS.
“However, INR gained due to falling oil prices and slide in domestic bond yield. Oil prices declined in expectation of increased production and if this trend continues, the rupee may find some stability.” HDFC Securities Head of Retail Research Deepak Jasani said: “Technically, while the Nifty remains in a downtrend, we remain open to pullback rallies that could push the Nifty higher in the near term. Immediate supports are now at 10,139 points while further upside rallies could find resistance at 10,336-10,482 points.” In terms of fund flows, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 2,869.41 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors bought Rs 1,888.18-crore stocks.
The foreign fund-out flow has reached at around Rs 17,000 crore this month alone. In the last eight sessions beginning October 1, FIIs have sold shares worth about Rs 17,000 crore. “The FII take cues from the macros of a country. India’s current macroeconomic scenario does not inspire confidence due to the decline in the rupee,” said Astha Jain, Senior Analyst, Hem Securities. The Sensex had only three gainers: ONGC, up 2.86 per cent at Rs 152.90; Yes Bank, up 2.54 per cent at Rs 240; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.75 per cent at Rs 1,538.50 from its previous close. Major losers included State Bank of India, down 5.74 per cent at Rs 262.15 (SBI);Tata Steel, down 4.60 per cent at Rs 556.25; Vedanta, down 4.45 per cent at Rs 208.25; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 4.44 per cent at Rs 730.20; Infosys, down 3.61 per cent at Rs 675 per share. (IANS)