Stock Market Tanks Ahead of GDP Data as Sensex Plummets Over 1,900 Points, Nifty Closes Below 14,600

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The BSE Sensex crashed 1,939.32 points to end at 49,099.99 on Friday, while the Nifty tanked 568.20 points to close at 14,529.15 — one of the worst days in 11 months for the Indian benchmark equities that witnessed a sharp selloff in the intraday trade. The closure came after tracking massive sell-offs in world equities after a rout in global blond markets spooked investors.

ONGC was the top loser, shedding around 6.50 per cent, followed by M&M, Bajaj Finserv, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, PowerGrid, HDFC Bajaj Finance and ICICI Bank. Sectorally, banking index suffered maximum loss with over 4.8 per cent drop. Financial and telecom indices too fell sharply by 4.9 per cent and 3.85 per cent, respectively.

At 1350 hours, Sensex was 1,662.99 points, or 3.26 percent, down at 49,376.32 while Nifty was at 14,578, down 519 points or 3.44 percent.

Mid and small-caps were outperforming their larger peers as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down by 2.33 percent and 1.37 percent, respectively.

The NSO (National Statistical Office) will release gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for the third quarter (October-December) 2020-21 later in the day.

Many analysts have placed high chances on India’s real GDP growing at more than 0 percent in October-December 2020, marking a return to a positive trajectory after two-quarters of a deep slide.

Rising bond yields seem to have eroded investor interest in riskier equities. Bond market cues often reflect in equity markets. After a bull run, the stock market has corrected in recent days, with both the Sensex and the Nifty falling from record highs.

Most Asian markets traded lower after Wall Street’s main indexes tumbled, following a steep rise in benchmark US Treasury yields.

As per Reuters, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2 percent in early trade, on track for the biggest intraday percentage loss since Jan. 28. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.8 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures lost 1.69 percent.

While the level of 15,100 is acting as stiff resistance for Nifty, the technical indicators are giving mixed signals and analysts are advising to wait for more clarity.

In early trade, Sensex had tanked over 800 points in the opening session tracking losses in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC twins and Reliance Industries amid a negative trend in global markets.

After touching a low of 49,950.75, the 30-share BSE index was trading 838.21 points or 1.64 per cent lower at 50,200.66. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty was quoting 224.40 points or 1.49 per cent down at 14,872.95.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC, M&M, SBI, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and Tech Mahindra.

On the other hand, Nestle India, Maruti, HUL and Bharti Airtel were among the gainers.

In the previous session, Sensex spurted 257.62 points or 0.51 per cent to finish at 51,039.31, and Nifty climbed 115.35 points or 0.77 per cent to 15,097.35.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 188.08 crore on Thursday, as per exchange data.

Meanwhile, RailTel Corporation of India (RailTel) got listed at Rs 109.00 per share, a premium of 15.96 percent to the issue price of Rs 94 per share on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Friday. The shares were listed at Rs 104.60 apiece on the BSE. The state-owned RailTel Corporation has raised around Rs 819 crore through the initial public offering that was subscribed 42.4 times during February 16-18. The issue was a complete offer for sale by the government, so the government will receive the money, not the company.

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