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Sensex crashes over 368 points; financial stocks a top drag

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 28, 2019  | 17:42 IST

Mumbai, Jan 28 (PTI) The benchmark BSE Sensex Monday plummeted over 368 points to close at 35,657 due to selling across the board on the bourse amid volatile market sentiment days ahead of the Union Budget, which is widely believed to have some populist announcements. Also, the NSE Nifty tumbled 119 points to end at 10,661.55 amid weak global cues. Markets feel the populist measures in the upcoming budget will stray the government from fiscal consolidation path -- triggering a caution among investors. A heavy selling pressure emerged mainly in banking, auto and consumer durables stocks -- pulling down their shares by as much as 5.46 per cent on the BSE. Overall, weak set of earnings from auto firms and selling in banks marked the tone of domestic indices. The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 36,124.26 and low of 35,565.15. It finished 368.84 points, or 1.02 per cent, down at 35,656.70. While, the broader NSE Nifty touched a high of 10,804.45 during the day and fell to a low of 10,630.95. It finally ended 119, or 1.10 per cent, down at 10,661.55. Among the Sensex losers, Yes Bank tumbled 5.46 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance 5.40, ICICI Bank 3.82 per cent, IndusInd Bank 3.10 per cent and HeromotoCorp 2.55 per cent. Besides domestic factors, concerns related to ongoing US-China trade tussle kept investors jittery. "Global macro concerns are front and centre today, as investors focus on the Fed meeting, and US. China trade talks take centre stage. Markets across the globe remained weak and Indian markets were no exception with a 1.1 per cent fall in Nifty and 2.1 per cent fall in Midcap index," Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management, said. The BSE Sensex had Friday lost 169 points. In the last two sessions, it has lost 537 points. The Indian rupee remained under pressure trading at 71.11 per US dollar and it has struggled to appreciate beyond 71 in recent days, he said. Other losers on the Sensex were -- Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, Vedanta, Axis Bank, ITC, Tata Steel, HDFC, Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance, SBI, Tata Motors, Baharti Airtel, HUL, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank, Infosys, ONGC and Maruti. Bucking the trend, TCS emerged as the biggest gainer with 1.71 per cent gain on the Sensex. Other winners were Coal India, Larsen and Toubro, PowerGrid, Asian Paint, HCL Tech and NTPC -- rising up to 1.51 per cent. Meanwhile, shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises bounced back Monday and ended with a sharp gain of nearly 17 per cent after the company denied links with a firm being probed for suspicious demonetisation deposits. Its stock zoomed 16.64 per cent to end at Rs 372.50 on the BSE. Intra-day, shares surged 19.24 per cent to Rs 380.80 apiece. Sector-wise, BSE Finance Index declined 2.1 per cent, Healthcare Index fell over 2 per cent. On the flipside, BSE Teck Index was top gainer, up 0.8 per cent. Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet is expected to soon approve a relief package for farmers grappling with falling prices of their crops and to tackle distress in the farm sector, according to sources. The likely relief package is seen as an attempt to assuage the farming community's discontent ahead of the general elections. Experts are of the view that any such populist measures in the budget will derail the government's fiscal consolidation agenda. Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.02 per cent, Korea Kospi fell 0.02 per cent, Japan's Nikkei declined 0.60 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.18 per cent. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX fell 0.29 per cent, while Paris CAC 40 was down 0.36 per cent in late morning deals. While, London's FTSE gained 0.04 per cent. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee was trading higher by 9 paise to 71.08 against the US dollar. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading lower at USD 60.48 per barrel, down by 1.88 per cent. PTI BAL MKJ

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