Benchmark Sensex plummeted over 377 points on Thursday, tracking lacklustre global cues amid concerns over the fiscal impact of the proposed package to woo farmers ahead of the general elections. The 30-share BSE index cracked 377.81 points, or 1.05 per cent, to end at 35,513.71. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty plunged 120.25 points, or 1.11 per cent, to settle at 10,672.25.
Asian and European equities tripped following a sudden sell-off on Wall Street after Apple cut its revenue forecast for the first in nearly 12 years. Global investor sentiment also turned choppy after the White House meeting between US President Donald Trump and top Congressional leaders on resolving the ongoing partial government shutdown ended in a stalemate Wednesday.
The biggest losers in the Sensex pack were Vedanta, M&M, ONGC, Tata Steel, L&T, HDFC, NTPC and Axis Bank, falling up to 3.04 per cent. Among the gainers were HCL Tech, Bajaj Auto, HUL and Asian Paints, rising up to 0.50 per cent.
Sectorally, auto, pharma and metal indices took the worst hit, falling over 2 per cent. Trading mood was subdued after reports said the government was contemplating direct transfers worth Rs 4,000 an acre per season for farmers, among other incentives, which will likely have a substantial financial implication on the exchequer.
Investors also remained on the sidelines ahead of the corporate earnings scheduled to begin next week, traders said, adding that heavy selling by foreign as well as domestic funds weighed on local equities.
On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 621.06 crore Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 226.18 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.
Meanwhile, the rupee was trading marginally weaker against the US dollar at 70.26. Brent crude futures dropped 0.15 per cent to USD 54.83 per barrel. Elsewhere in Asia, Korea’s Kospi ended 0.81 per cent lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.26 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.03 per cent.
Japanese market remained shut on account of New Year holiday. In Europe, Paris CAC was down 0.58 per cent, while Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.63 per cent. London’s FTSE slipped 0.29 per cent.