Benchmark indices extended losses for the fifth consecutive session today amid weak global cues. Sensex and Nifty tanked over 2 per cent each, tracking selling in index majors HDFC twins, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank. Investors remained cautious ahead of announcement of inflation rate for April and industrial production data for March.
Sensex tumbled 1,158.08 points or 2.14 per cent to close below the 53,000-level at 52,930.31. It plummeted 1,386.09 points or 2.56 per cent intra-day to 52,702.30. Nifty plunged 359.10 points or 2.22 per cent to end at 15,808.
"Undoubtedly, the biggest negative catalyst continues to be inflation all over global economies. The anxiety at stock markets across globe is on the backdrop Federal Reserve's next strategy on interest rates," said Prashanth Tapse, Vice President (Research), Mehta Equities.
IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC, Titan, NTPC and State Bank of India were among the top Sensex losers, falling up to 5.82 per cent today. Wipro was the only gainer, rising up to 0.91 per cent.
The market breadth was negative with 747 shares ending higher against 2,614 stocks falling in the red. 86 shares were unchanged. Consumer durables shares, banking and metal stocks were the top sectoral losers with their BSE indices, crashing 976 points and 1255 points and 715 points, respectively.
Sahaj Agrawal, Head of Research- Derivatives at Kotak Securities said, "Markets continue to remain under pressure in sync with global markets. For Nifty50, short term sentiment remains weak with resistance placed at 16400 levels - no strong reversal attempt and confirmation is seen yet. Medium term trend support is placed at 15500 - breach of the same can have significant implications for the short term."
Bank Nifty too slumped 1161 points to 35,532. All 19 BSE sectoral indices ended in the red.
On Wednesday, benchmark indices pared early gains to close lower for the fourth consecutive session amid selling in index majors Infosys and Reliance Industries. Despite a strong start, the gains in Sensex fizzled out and ended lower at 54,088.39, down 276.46 points or 0.51 per cent. Nifty dipped 72.95 points or 0.45 per cent to settle at 16,167.10.
Persistent foreign capital outflows also dented investor sentiment, forex traders said. Foreign institutional investors continued their selling spree, offloading shares worth Rs 3609 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.
Meanwhile, snapping its two-day winning streak, the rupee closed 15 paise lower at 77.40 against the US dollar on Thursday, following risk-off sentiments amid increasing concerns over inflation globally. At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened steeply lower at 77.52 against the greenback and moved in a range of 77.36 to 77.63 in the day trade.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai settled sharply lower. Equity markets in Europe were quoting with sharp cuts in the afternoon session. Stock exchanges in the US had ended lower on Wednesday. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 2.02 per cent to $105.7 per barrel.
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