Indian equity benchmarks plunged over 1.5 per cent to their lowest since late October on Friday, extending their losses for the fourth straight session, reflecting a sell-off in Wall Street stocks overnight after data showed economic resilience and reinforced the Federal Reserve’s higher interest rates rhetoric.
“Markets were caught in frenzied selling as weak global cues and bearish external factors pushed both the key benchmark indices below the psychological levels,” said Amol Athawale, Deputy Vice President for Technical Research at Kotak Securities.
The 30-share BSE Sensex crashed 980.93 points, or 1.61 per cent, to close at 59,845.29, the lowest since October 28. The Sensex opened at 60,205.56 and fell as low as 59,765.56.
The broader NSE Nifty-50 index fell to the lowest since October 28 after dropping below the 18,000-mark for the first time since November. The Nifty plunged 320.55 points, or 1.77 per cent, to end at 17,806.80.
Tata Steel experienced a decline of roughly 5% from the Sensex pack. Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, Wipro, IndusInd Bank, Larsen & Toubro, and Maruti Suzuki were among the other significant laggards.
Equity markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong finished in the red on other Asian exchanges.
“Markets plunged sharply lower and lost about two per cent, in continuation to the prevailing corrective trend,” Ajit Mishra, Vice President for Technical Research at Religare Broking, told PTI.
The rupee lost ground to a resurgent dollar on Friday as strong US data fuelled worries that the Fed will need to maintain its hawkish stance to limit inflation. Asian markets dipped on Friday, mirroring a sell-off on Wall Street.
Weekly unemployment benefits claims data from the United States indicated that the labour market remains tight, and the third quarter’s economic recovery was more rapid than anticipated.
The data from the United States “flamed fears that further monetary policy tightening in 2023 will be necessary to cool inflation,” Tony Sycamore, a Market Analyst at IG, told Reuters.
Those positive data points, which would often be seen favourably, has increased investor concerns that the Fed funds target rate may rise higher and remain there longer than anticipated, increasing the likelihood of an economic slowdown.
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