Sensex Tumbles 503 pts Amid Mixed Global Cues; RIL, HDFC Twins Top Drags

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MUMBAI, Dec 13 (PTI): Equity benchmarks reversed early gains to close deep in the red on Monday, pressured by hectic selling in market heavyweights Reliance Industries and HDFC twins amid a mixed trend overseas.

Investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of inflation data and a slew of central bank meetings this week, experts said.

Sliding for the second straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex closed 503.25 points or 0.86 per cent lower at 58,283.42.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 143.05 points or 0.82 per cent to 17,368.25.

Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 3.10 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, M&M, Nestle India, SBI and HDFC.

In value terms, RIL and HDFC twins accounted for around half of the benchmark’s losses.

In contrast, Axis Bank, Tech Mahindra, Maruti, PowerGrid, Titan, Dr Reddy’s and Sun Pharma closed with gains of up to 2.38 per cent.

The market breadth was negative, with 23 of the 30 Sensex counters closing lower.

“The sharp rise in Omicron cases in the UK is a concern for global markets,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Meetings of the US Fed, ECB, Bank of England and Bank of Japan this week will give cues on the medium term trajectory of interest rates, bond yields and markets, he noted.

“In India, the relentless selling by FPIs (Rs 33,799 crore in November and Rs 17,644 crore up to December 10) has been the major headwind for the market, particularly for banking stocks,” he added.

“Ahead of the release of domestic inflation data and key global central bank meetings, the benchmark indices dived into the negative zone digesting weak macro-economic numbers and continued FII selling,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services.

“In view of the rising global inflation, the policy outcome of key central bank meetings, especially the US Fed and European Central Bank (ECB), will be keenly monitored by the market,” he added.

Sectorally, BSE energy, realty, FMCG and finance indices lost as much as 1.75 per cent, while consumer durables and basic materials were positive. Broader BSE midcap index slipped 0.53 per cent, while the smallcap gauge climbed 0.24 per cent.

World equities were mixed ahead of key central bank meetings this week. In Asia, bourses in Seoul and Hong Kong ended with gains, while Shanghai and Tokyo were in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in the afternoon session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.11 per cent to USD 75.23 per barrel.

The rupee settled on a flat note at 75.78 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Friday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,092.40 crore, as per exchange data.

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