Rate hike fears spook investors; Sensex ends down 224 points
Benchmark Sensex declined 224 points on Wednesday, snapping its four-session winning streak, mainly due to sell-off in IT and pharma counters amid rising concerns over possible aggressive interest rate hikes to tame high inflation.
Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters
The 30-share index rebounded more than 1,200 points from the early lows before settling at 60,346.97 points, a total loss of 224.11 points or 0.37 per cent compared to Tuesday’s closing level.
The broader NSE Nifty closed lower 66.30 points or 0.37 per cent at 18,003.75 points.
With the higher than expected inflation reported in the US in August, there are now concerns that the US Federal Reserve is likely to go for aggressive rate hikes, pushing global markets into the red.
The Sensex had plunged 1,150 points to a low of 59,417.12 points while the Nifty declined to a low of 17,771.15 points in early trade on Wednesday following deep losses in US markets.
Gains in banking shares helped the indices recover from early lows but selling in IT, energy and pharma shares restricted the gains.
Infosys fell the most by 4.53 per cent among the Sensex scrips. TCS, Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, L&T, Wipro, and Reliance were among the major losers.
IndusInd, PowerGrid, NTPC, SBI, Kotak Bank and HDFC twins advanced.
On the domestic front, the wholesale price-based inflation eased for the third consecutive month in August to 12.41 per cent on softening in prices of manufactured items.
However, August was the 17th consecutive month of double-digit wholesale price inflation.
Global stock markets also declined following overnight losses at Wall Street as higher-than-expected inflation fanned rate hike fears. European benchmarks were marginally lower while Asian markets witnessed steeper losses.
The US inflation slowed only to 8.3 per cent in August, instead of the 8.1 per cent economists expected.
Germany’s DAX lost 0.2 per cent and France’s CAC 40 gave up 0.3 per cent while the UK’s FTSE 10 shed 0.7 per cent.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 2.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 2.3 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite index declined 0.8 per cent.
Foreign institutional investors pumped in Rs 1,956.98 crore into domestic equities on Tuesday, as per data available with BSE.
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