Equity markets halted their two-day rally on Friday, with the Sensex tumbling 714.53 points amid weak global equities and selling in index majors Infosys, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries. Continuous foreign fund outflows also dented sentiments.
The BSE benchmark Sensex tanked 714.53 points or 1.23 per cent to settle at 57,197.15. During the day, it plummeted to 776.96 points or 1.34 per cent to 57,134.72. The NSE Nifty also declined by 220.65 points or 1.27 per cent to 17,171.95.
Among the 30-share Sensex pack, State Bank of India, Hindustan Unilever, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy’s, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank and Infosys declined the most. In contrast, M&M, Bharti Airtel, Maruti, ITC, Asian Paints and HCL Technologies were the gainers.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul settled lower, while Shanghai ended marginally higher. Markets in Europe were trading lower in the afternoon session. Stocks in the US had ended lower on Thursday.
“This excessively volatile market without any clear direction is being influenced on a daily basis by two factors – one, external and two, internal. The external factor is the erratic movement in the mother market US where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq go up by around 2 per cent one day and go down by around 2 per cent the next day. The internal factor influencing the market is the see-saw tussle between FIIs and DIIs. Both these external and internal factors are erratic now and that’s why the market is volatile without any direction,” said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
He added that the Fed chief’s comment that a 50 bps rate hike is possible in May and that ‘control of inflation has become absolutely essential’ has pushed the 10-year bond yield above 2.9 per cent and consequently impacted equity markets.
“But this impact, too, is likely to be temporary since the market has already discounted this known hawkishness of the Fed,” Vijayakumar added.
Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.60 per cent to USD 106.6 per barrel. Foreign institutional investors continued their selling spree, offloading shares worth Rs 713.69 crore on Thursday, according to stock exchange data.