Sensex and Nifty, the two key equity benchmarks, on Monday witnessed heavy bloodbath in the opening trade. The two indices were tracking weak global sentiments due to aggressive monetary policy stance by US Fed spooks investors.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark message on Friday. He said that the Fed will likely impose larger interest rate hikes in the coming months and is resolutely focused on taming the highest inflation in four decades.
The BSE benchmark Sensex tanked 1,220 points to 57,613.11 in early trade, with all its 30 components trading in the red. The NSE Nifty plunged 355 points to 17,203.90. Both the indices fell over 2 per cent. At 10.10 am, the two domestic indices recouped some of the losses. The BSE platform was down 825 points to 58,008, while the Nifty was trading at 17,303, down 255 points.
On the 30-share Sensex, HUL was the lead gainer, up 1.01 per cent. Maruti, Nestle, and UltraCemco were the other three gainers. The rest 26 constituents were trading in the negative zone. TechM was the prime loser, down 5.08 per cent. Other prominent laggards were Infosys, HCL, Wipro, TCS, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, and others.
Among specific stocks, Reliance Industries (RIL) on Monday was trading at Rs 2,610.90 apiece, down 0.30 per cent on the BSE.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate will hold its 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 2 pm on Monday.
RIL will broadcast it simultaneously on a virtual reality platform as well as on five social media platforms. RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani is likely to make announcements about the firm’s 5G rollout, how he plans to unlock the value of his telecom and retail units through separate listings, and when and how his children will take over the reins.
On the other hand, broader markets also declined in tandem as Nifty Smallcap 100 and Nifty Midcap 100 dropped over 2 per cent.
All sectors drowned in sea of red with Nifty IT, Nifty PSU Bank, and Nifty Realty indices battered in trade.
“Markets expected Jerome Powell to remain hawkish at Jackson Hole but the ultra-hawkish tone of the Fed chief’s message and his warnings that Fed’s policy will ’cause some pain to households and businesses’ and this is ‘the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation’ were not expected and factored in by the markets,” said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
In the previous session on Friday, the Sensex closed with marginal gains of 59.15 points to end at 58, 833 and the Nifty gained 36 points to 17,558.
In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong were trading in the red in mid-session deals. The US markets had ended significantly lower on Friday.
Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.86 per cent to 101.9 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 51.12 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.