Investors got poorer by Rs 1.97 lakh crore on Thursday as market capitalisation of all listed companies declined to Rs 264.27 lakh crore. The rupee strengthened against the dollar. But RBI’s likely intervention capped further spike and brought the local unit closer to 82 per dollar.

Domestic investors were left a worried lot over reports of a likely faster and longer period of interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve. Indian equity markets posted their biggest one-day drop in over two weeks on Thursday, snapping a three-session winning streak, dragged by index heavyweight Reliance, ICICI Bank and IT stocks.

The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex declined 542 points or 0.90% to settle at 59,806. The broader NSE Nifty dropped 165 points or 0.93% to end at 17,590.

The market capitalisation of all listed companies on the BSE declined by Rs 1.97 lakh crore to Rs 264.27 lakh crore.

From the Sensex pack, M&M, Reliance and Bajaj Finserv were the top laggards, falling about 2-3.5%. ICICI Bank, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Tata Motors, and Maruti also ended in the red.

On the other hand, Tata steel closed 1.55% higher amid signs of recovery in China. Meanwhile, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank and NTPC also ended higher.

Sector-wise, Nifty Auto fell 1.83%, and Nifty IT declined 1.08%. Nifty Bank and Nifty Financial Services also closed lower. In the broader market, Nifty Midcap50 dropped 0.62% and Smallcap50 plunged 0.47%.

“The domestic market could hardly hold on to its previous gains as the Fed Chair’s reaffirmation of his hawkish statement brought in more worries,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

“Against this backdrop, the upcoming US job data will have a substantial impact on the Fed’s policy decisions in its upcoming FOMC meeting. A stronger-than-expected jobs report will prompt the Fed to raise interest rates by 50 bps,” Nair said.

Global Markets
Asian shares wobbled on Thursday after a spate of economic data overnight appeared to support Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish guidance on further interest rate increases.

Japan’s Nikkei, on the other hand, rose 0.63%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.63%, while China’s Shanghai Composite declined 0.22%.

London’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday as investors braced for a likely faster and longer period of interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve, with miners leading declines as metal prices dropped in the wake of a stronger dollar.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.6%, and the mid-cap index lost 0.7%, extending losses for a third straight session.

Crude price falls
Oil fell for a third day on Thursday as fears over the economic impact of rising interest rates offset a surprise drop in US crude inventories and hopes for Chinese demand.

Brent crude fell by 0.10% to $82.32 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped by 0.14% to $76.56. Both benchmarks declined between 4% and 5% over the previous two days.

Rupee Strengthens
The rupee strengthened against the US currency on Thursday, with traders citing inflows, but the Reserve Bank of India’s likely intervention capped further gains and brought the local unit closer to 82 per dollar. The rupee finished at 81.97 per dollar, against its previous close of 82.055

(With inputs from agencies)

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