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Sensex sinks 356 points as recession fears spark global sell-off

twitter-logoPTI | March 25, 2019 | Updated 17:03 IST

Mumbai, Mar 25 (PTI) Benchmark Sensex spiralled lower for the second straight session Monday and cracked below the key 38,000-mark, with banking and realty counters taking the biggest hit amid a global sell-off triggered by renewed fears of a recession. The BSE Sensex tumbled 355.70 points to end at 37,808.91 while the wider NSE Nifty plunged 102.65 points to 11,354.25. The Sensex has now lost over 575 points in two sessions. Investor sentiment dampened after weaker-than-expected economic data from the US and Europe last week stoked fears of a global slowdown. The trade worries between the US and China too added to the worries, brokers said. Most other Asian markets ended sharply down, while European shares were trading lower in their opening sessions. Besides, investors preferred to keep their portfolios at a low ebb ahead of fiscal 2018-19 coming to an end, they added. The 30-share Sensex, after opening lower at 38,016.76, stayed in the negative territory through the session and slipped below the 38,000-mark to touch a low of 37,667.40 on mounting selling pressure in sync with the global sell-off. However, fag-end buying at lower levels trimmed losses to some extent. The benchmark finally ended at 37,808.91 -- down by 355.70 points or 0.93 per cent. The 50-issue NSE Nifty too cracked below the 11,400-mark and hit a low of 11,311.60, before finishing 102.65 points, or 0.90 per cent down at 11,354.25. Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 657.37 crore, while foreign funds remained net buyers, pumping in Rs 1,374.57 crore in Friday's trade, provisional data showed. "Lingering concern on global economic slowdown dragged down the domestic indices, the consolidation was broad based where mid and small-cap under-performed. US bond yield has fallen as risk appetite of investors to equities reduced due to fear of US recession. "Consolidation may extend in the near term. However, domestic macro-economic sentiment remains strong. Stability in oil prices and increase in FII inflow in expectation of earnings revival and formation of stable government reflects the strength of the market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Vedanta Ltd was the top loser in the Sensex pack, falling 3.28 per cent, followed by Tata Motors at 2.31 per cent. Other laggards included Yes Bank 2.18 per cent, M&M 2.11 per cent, ICICI Bank 2.07 per cent, HDFC 1.95 per cent, Kotak Bank 1.92 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.91 per cent, Axis Bank 1.78 per cent, SBI 1.44 per cent, RIL 1.26 per cent, L&T 1.21 per cent and Bharti Airtel 1.09 per cent. HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Hero Motocorp, IndusInd Bak, TCS, Infosys, ITC Ltd, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel, HUL and Bajaj Auto too ended lower with fall of up to 1.04 per cent. In contrast, ONGC spurted 3.90 per cent, Coal India 2.09 per cent, PowerGrid 1.56 per cent, NTPC 1.19 per cent, Bajaj Finance 0.56 per cent and HDFC Bank 0.15 per cent. Sector-wise, the BSE realty index emerged as the worst performer by sliding 1.83 per cent, followed by metal 1.30 per cent, bankex 1.29 per cent, teck 1.12 per cent, auto 1.10 per cent, capital goods 0.96 per cent, IT 0.86 per cent, FMCG 0.83 per cent, healthcare 0.48 per cent and consumer durables 0.46 per cent. On the other hand, oil and gas gained 1.40 per cent, PSU 0.91 per cent, infrastructure 0.70 per cent, PSU 0.47 per cent and power 0.46 per cent. The broader markets saw investors cutting down their exposure, which pulled down the BSE small-cap index by 1.16 per cent and the mid-cap gauge by 1.06 per cent. Shares of Jet Airways climbed on reports that the company's chairman is expected to leave the board of the cash-strapped airline. Worries over the health of the global economy heightened last week after cautious remarks by the US Federal Reserve sent 10-year treasury yields to the lowest since early 2018. In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei plunged 3.01 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 2.15 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index edged lower by 1.97 per cent. Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 1.27 per cent, while Korea's KOSPI tumbled 1.92 per cent. Taiwan too dropped 1.50 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended 1.77 per cent lower on Friday. European stocks too were trading lower in their late morning deals. Paris CAC 40 fell 0.52 per cent while Frankfurt's DAX was lower by 0.31 per cent. London's FTSE shed 0.62 per cent. PTI SUN ABM

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