Sensex extends losses amid global weakness; RIL tumbles post Q4 show
Mumbai: Equity benchmarks began the week on a downbeat note on Monday, weighed by heavy selling in market heavyweight Reliance Industries and persisting weakness in global bourses.
The rupee plunged to its lifetime low against the US dollar amid unabated foreign fund outflows, underscoring the risk-off sentiment prevailing globally as central banks embark on policy tightening to tame soaring inflation.
Slipping for the second straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex shed 364.91 points or 0.67 per cent to close at 54,470.67. During the day, it tanked over 900 points to 53,918.02.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty tumbled 109.40 points or 0.67 per cent to end at 16,301.85.
Reliance Industries was the top drag on the Sensex pack, dropping 3.97 per cent, after the company’s March quarter earnings failed to cheer investors.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate had on Friday reported a 22.5 per cent annual rise in net profit for the March quarter at Rs 16,203 crore. Net profit, however, fell 12.6 per cent sequentially — breaking a six-quarter chain of quarter-on-quarter improvement.
IndusInd Bank, Nestle India, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, SBI, HUL and ITC were among the other major laggards, losing as much as 2.97 per cent.
In contrast, PowerGrid, HCL Technologies, Infosys, Maruti, Bajaj Finserv and HDFC featured among the gainers, climbing up to 2.83 per cent.
“The market continued its downward rally amid lingering concerns over weakening rupee, global interest rate hikes and tightening lockdowns in China.
“The relentless rise in the US dollar index owing to interest rate hikes and rising US treasury yield hammered investor’s risk appetite. Strong US jobs data indicated possibilities of faster rate hikes forcing investors to opt for safe-haven assets,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge declined 1.67 per cent and the midcap index dipped 1.89 per cent.
As many as 2,416 stocks declined, 1,052 advanced and 146 remained unchanged.
Most BSE sectoral indices ended lower, with power falling 2.47 per cent, followed by utilities (2.46 per cent), energy (2.27 per cent), oil and gas (2.03 per cent) and metal (1.98 per cent). Only telecom, teck and IT ended with gains.
“Benchmark indices ended the day’s session on a negative note. Asian stocks declined on investor worries that a tightening COVID lockdown in Shanghai could hit global economic growth,” said Mohit Nigam, Head – PMS, Hem Securities.
World stocks remained under pressure on growing concerns about interest rate hikes by central banks amid stubborn inflation.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo and Seoul settled lower, while Shanghai ended higher. Markets were closed in Hong Kong for a holiday.
Bourses in Europe were also quoting lower in the afternoon session.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.17 per cent to USD 111 per barrel.
The rupee extended its losses and slumped 60 paise to close at a record low of 77.50 (provisional) against the US dollar on Monday, pressured by the strength of the American currency overseas and unabated foreign fund outflows.
Foreign institutional investors continued their selling spree, offloading shares worth a net Rs 5,517.08 crore on Friday, according to stock exchange data.