Closing Bell: Sensex plunges over 200 points, Nifty still above 12,100 (Photo Credit: file photo )
Market benchmark Sensex surrendered early gains to end 208 points lower on Wednesday as energy, power, auto and financial stocks came under selling pressure. After plunging 473 points from the day’s high in a choppy session, the 30-share BSE index settled 208.43 points, or 0.50 per cent, lower at 41,115.38.
It hit an intra-day high of 41,532.29 and a low of 41,059.04. Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty closed 62.95 points, or 0.52 per cent, down at 12,106.90. ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, tumbling 5.13 per cent, followed by NTPC, Maruti, Kotak Bank, HDFC, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.
On the other hand, Nestle India, TCS, Infosys, HCL Tech, SBI and Bharti Airtel ended with gains of up to 1.86 per cent. According to experts, major stocks are in the process of correcting to their support levels ahead of the Union Budget. Further, global agencies slashing India’s growth outlook and a tepid start to the earnings season are also weighing on domestic investor sentiment, they added.
In the previous session, Sensex settled 205.10 points, or 0.49 per cent, lower at 41,323.81; while the Nifty settled 54.70 points, or 0.45 per cent, lower at 12,169.85. Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 50.08 crore, while domestic institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 307.81 crore on Tuesday, data available with stock exchanges showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains. European markets were also trading on a positive note in their early sessions. Brent crude oil futures fell 0.67 per cent to USD 64.16 per barrel. The rupee was trading flat at 71.22 per US dollar (intra-day).
Gold prices fell by Rs 51 to Rs 40,688 per 10 gram in the national capital on Wednesday on a stronger rupee and weakness in international market. The precious metal had closed at Rs 40,739 per 10 gram in the previous session. Silver also declined by Rs 472 to Rs 47,285 per kg from Rs 47,757 per kg on Tuesday.
“Spot gold for 24 karat in Delhi fell by Rs 51 with strength in rupee against the dollar,” HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.
The rupee appreciated by 3 paise to 71.18 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday as easing crude oil prices and gains in domestic equity market lift investor sentiments. “...spot international gold prices pared previous gains at COMEX declining below USD 1,560 to USD 1,555 per ounce for the day,” Patel added. While gold traded lower in the international market, silver was quoting almost flat at USD 17.80 per ounce.