Caution on inflation puts stocks to test, Sensex slides 228 points
Stock market set the clock back today as the Sensex tumbled 228 points -- in a break with three sessions of gains -- after investor worry heightened over rising global oil prices ahead of inflation numbers.
Participants were at a crossroads as they had a clutch of macro pointers such as industrial production (IIP) and inflation in their sights, slated for release after market hours. Other Asian shares turned weak.
The Sensex closed at 33,227.99, down 227.80 points, or 0.68 per cent. The gauge had rallied 858.61 points in the previous three sessions.
The broader Nifty settled below the key 10,300-level, down 82.10 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 10,240.15.
"With few cues to push ahead, the caution ahead of key macroeconomic release weighed on prices. Asian peers also offered little support with dollar's firmness ahead of key major central banks' meetings. With pre-Budget talks under way, markets are also weighing the likelihood of the government levying taxes on long-term capital gains," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
Realty, power and banking were in the grip of selling.
Global Brent crude oil prices jumped above the USD 65 a barrel for the first time since 2015, which could spoil any chance of rate reduction by the Reserve Bank, traders said.
Losses in oil marketers such as HPCL, BPCL and IOC stocks too weighed.
The Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to issue an interest rate policy update on Wednesday, kicks off its meeting. It is expected to lift rates by 0.25 per cent.
Back home, in the Sensex pack, Coal India tanked the most, losing 2.45 per cent, followed by Cipla, down 2.17 per cent, after participants took profit off the table. Other major losers were Hero MotoCorp, TCS, Tata Steel, ITC and L&T.
Dr Reddy's took a different trajectory, advancing the most by 2.83 per cent after the company said it has received Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the USFDA for its Hyderabad facility.
Adani Ports, ONGC, Lupin, Infosys, SBI and Maruti Suzuki too rose.
On the sectoral front, telecom fell by the widest margin of 2.12 per cent. Realty, power and FMCG lost too.
A weak trend also extended to the broader markets, with BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices retreating up to 1.01 per cent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) turned net sellers, diluting shares net Rs 185.60 crore yesterday while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 108.94 crore, as per provisional data.
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