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Sensex plunges 690 pts; Nifty cracks below 10,800

PTI     December 21, 2018

Mumbai, Dec 21 (PTI) Benchmark equity indices witnessed heavy selloff Friday after investors booked profits in realty, banking, IT and auto bluechips amid weak signals from global markets. The BSE Sensex plunged 689.60 points, or 1.89 per cent, to 35,742.07, while the NSE Nifty slipped 197.70 points, or 1.81 per cent, to 10,754. The 30-share index ended the week 527.93 points lower, and the broader Nifty lost 134 points. The equity market witnessed selling ahead of the weekend, mainly due to fears of lower global economic growth in the coming year, said Joseph Thomas, Head Research- Emkay Wealth Management. Concerns over the rupee also loomed over IT and tech stocks, analysts said. The biggest losers of the session include Reliance, Infosys, TCS, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins, ITC, Maruti, L&T, HUL, Axis Bank, Wipro and IndusInd Bank, cracking up to 4 per cent. On the other hand, NTPC, PowerGrid and Coal India were the only gainers on Sensex, rising up to 1 per cent. BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices too witnessed heavy selling, falling 1.79 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. Investors also took cues from world markets, which tumbled on fears of a potential US government shutdown and rising tension between the US and China. On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 386.44 crore Thursday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 87.96 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed. The rupee, meanwhile, fell 52 paise to 70.22 against the US dollar. The rupee gave up some gains due to volatility in bond yield. However, fall in oil prices is expected to provide strength to rupee in the near term. Investors are using this opportunity to book profit after the recent rally, the market direction will turn positive as domestic economic indicators remain healthy, the analysts said. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 0.96 per cent lower at 53.83 per barrel in futures trade. Elsewhere in Asia, Korea's Kospi ended 0.06 per cent higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.51 per cent; while, Japan's Nikkei plunged 1.11 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.79 per cent. In Europe, Frankfurt's DAX fell 0.62 per cent and Paris' CAC 40 shed 0.97 per cent in their early deals. London's FTSE too slipped 0.31 per cent. Market will closely track GST Council meet due Saturday, which is expected announce reduction of tax slabs for several items, said Hemang Jani, Head - Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas. "Global markets will brace more volatility from the ongoing trade tensions and slowdown in economies. Back home movement in crude oil prices, currency, corporate earnings due next month are likely to drive market in near term," he added. PTI ANS BAL

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