Sensex sheds over 300 points to open at 66,467, Nifty in red at 19,802

Equity benchmark indices declined in early trade on Thursday, falling for the third day running, due to a weak trend in global markets and foreign fund outflows.

Shareholders react as Sensex and Nifty trade in the red. (File Photo)(ANI Photo)
Shareholders react as Sensex and Nifty trade in the red. (File Photo)(ANI Photo)

Global equities fell after the US Federal Reserve signalled that they expect to raise rates once more this year to fight inflation.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 333.64 points to 66,467.20. The Nifty declined 99.8 points to 19,801.60.

Among the Sensex firms, HCL Technologies, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen & Toubro, UltraTech Cement, Nestle, HDFC Bank and ITC were the major laggards.

State Bank of India, Tata Steel, Axis Bank and NTPC were among the gainers.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong were trading in the negative territory.

The US markets ended in the red on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday for the second time in its past three meetings, a sign that it’s moderating its fight against inflation as price pressures have eased. But Fed officials also signalled that they expect to raise rates once more this year.

“Even though the ‘hawkish pause’ from the Fed was on expected lines, the US markets reacted negatively since the indication from the Fed is that rates will remain ‘higher for longer’.

“For Nifty the biggest drag will be more FII selling in response to the rising dollar and US bond yields,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.71 per cent to USD 92.87 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth 3,110.69 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.

“A rough start to the trading session is on the cards as overnight weakness in the US markets has triggered a slump in other Asian counterparts after the US Federal Reserve hinted at one more rate hike by the end of this year even as it kept rates unchanged in its FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting yesterday.

“Another negative catalyst has been the frenzied selling by foreign institutional investors as they sold shares worth 3,110.69 crore in the domestic equity markets on Wednesday, which could further dampen the sentiment,” Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd, said in his pre-opening market comment.

The BSE benchmark had tumbled 796 points or 1.18 per cent to settle at 66,800.84 on Wednesday. The NSE Nifty declined 231.90 points or 1.15 per cent to end below the 20,000 mark at 19,901.40.

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