Sensex Falls Over 350 Points, Nifty Below 17,250 On Weak Global Cues


Sensex Falls Over 350 Points, Nifty Below 17,250 On Weak Global Cues

The Indian equity benchmarks staged a gap down opening on Tuesday on the back of weak cues from other Asian markets as the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant rattled investors who were already on edge ahead of a slew of central bank decisions this week, including a key Federal Reserve meeting. The Sensex fell over 350 points and Nifty 50 index slipped below its important psychological level of 17,250. Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Consultancy Services and ICICI Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.

As of 9:23 am, the Sensex was down 377 points at 57,905 and Nifty 50 index dropped 97 points to 17,270.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.46 per cent.

China’s CSI300 index was also 0.41 per cent lower, after health authorities in Tianjin detected mainland the country’s first Omicron case.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1 per cent, South Korea’s KOSPI was 0.4 per cent lower, Japan’s Nikkei stock index was down 0.13 per cent and Australian shares were 0.31 per cent lower.

The Fed is on Wednesday expected to signal a faster wind-down of its $120 billion a month bond buying programme in a move to fight high inflation, which could move it one step closer to raising interest rates.

Back home, eleven of 15 sector gauges were trading lower led by the Nifty Auto index’s 0.7 per cent decline. Nifty Financial Services, Bank, Information Technology, Private Bank, Realty and Oil & Gas indices were also trading with a negative bias.

On the other hand, Pharma, Healthcare and Metal shares were witnessing buying interest.

Mid- and small-cap shares were trading mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.25 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.12 per cent.

Tata Motors was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 1.3 per cent to Rs 489. Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Hero MotoCorp, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Eicher Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, Shree Cements, Britannia Industries and Bajaj Finserv also fell between 0.5-1 per cent.

On the flipside, Power Grid, Cipla, Hindalco, NTPC, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, UPL, Hindustan Unilever and Coal India were among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was positive as 1,587 shares were advancing while 1,071 were declining on the BSE.