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Equity markets plunge; Sensex closes below 27,000 points

Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) The Indian equity markets on Friday plunged to their lowest levels in around four months, as heavy selling pressure forced the key indices lower by 2.5 per cent each.

Investors’ sentiments were depressed by profit booking, weak rupee and outflow of foreign funds.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE closed below the 27,000-mark, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, banking and consumer durables stocks.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) receded by 229.45 points or 2.69 per cent, to 8,296.30 points.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 27,344.85 points, closed at 26,818.82 points — down 698.86 points or 2.54 per cent, from its previous close at 27,517.68 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 27,344.85 points and a low of 26,777.18 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 2,223 declines and 460 advances.

On Thursday, the key Indian indices had made substantial gains on the back of positive global markets and short covering.

The barometer index had surged by 437.01 points or 1.60 per cent, and the Nifty had rose by 149.05 points, or 1.77 per cent.

Initially on Friday, the benchmark indices opened on a negative note in sync with broadly lower Asian markets.

Besides, global and domestic markets receded on anticipation of a possible rate-hike in the US in December under the newly elected government.

A hike in the US interest rates can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.

In addition, gains were capped due to profit booking, rupee depreciation and outflow of foreign funds.

The Indian rupee weakened by 63 paise to 67.26 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.63 to a greenback.

“Profit booking ahead of a long weekend and a depreciating rupee exaggerated the falls in Indian markets,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

James added: “As euphoria surrounding US election settled, the prospects of outflows from EMs (emerging markets) to the US, anticipating reform measures from Trump, and rise in US treasury yields have resulted in sharp sell off in Asian markets. The anticipated rise in spending in US, has also upped the ante for FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) rate hike in December.”

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the CNX Nifty traded with bearish sentiments throughout the trading session on selling pressure.

“IT stocks traded lower, while banking, pharma and auto stocks traded with volatile sentiments due to short covering. Oil-gas, textile, aviation, media-entertainment and FMCG stocks traded with bearish sentiments,” Desai said.

“Firm USD/INR futures prices also pressurised the Indian equity market throughout the trading session.”

In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 1,493.27 crore, and the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 64.72 crore.

Sector-wise, all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed in the red.

The S&P BSE automobile index plummeted by 976.68 points, the banking index plunged by 581.29 points, and the consumer durables index declined by 500.98 points.

Sun Pharmaceuticals was the only Sensex gainer during Friday’s trade — up 3.30 per cent at Rs 688.95.

Major Sensex losers were: Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), down 6.02 per cent at Rs 1,241.85; Adani Ports, down 5.86 per cent at Rs 276.50; ICICI Bank, down 5.32 per cent at Rs 277; Hero MotoCorp, down 5.18 per cent at Rs 2,981.75; and Asian Paints, down 5.02 per cent at Rs 963.60.

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