Sensex crashes 509 pts to end at over 1-month low on global trade woes

Mumbai: Market benchmark BSE Sensex Tuesday crashed 509 points to close at more than one-month low of 37,413.13 due to heavy selling in FMCG, metal, auto and financial stocks amid growing concerns over intensifying global trade war.

The 30-share index tanked more than 1 per cent for the second day in a row after the rupee slid to a new lifetime low of 72.73 in afternoon trade.

Stock markets had opened higher nut bears regained the control soon to wipe out initial gains as crude oil prices rebounded in Asian trade.

The BSE barometer closed the day with a hefty fall of 509.04 points or 1.34 per cent at 37,413.13. This is the weakest closing since August 2 when it had ended at 37,165.16. It had lost 467.65 points in the previous day.

The 50-share NSE Nifty cracked below the 11,300-mark by falling 150.60 points or 1.32 per cent at 11,287.50. Intra-day, it shuttled between 11,479.40 and 11,274.

Surging crude oil prices, rupee plunging to record lows and widening trade deficit, besides negative global leads were major factors that dampened sentiments on the domestic bourses, a broker said.

In Asian trade, international benchmark Brent crude again went past the USD 78 to trade at USD 78.52 a barrel, by rising 1.30 per cent amid looming US sanction against Iran’s petroleum industry.

Investors were cautious as trade war concerns between the US and China escalated, brokers said.

“The threat of trade tariffs, outflow of foreign funds and concern on domestic macros will influence investors to stay on a cautious note,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd said.

Moreover, expectations of a US interest rate hike this month by the Federal Reserve that may strengthen the dollar and accelerate sell-off by foreign funds in emerging markets too negatively impacted sentiments, brokers said.

Of the Sensex constituents, Tata Steel recorded the biggest fall of 3.46 per cent, followed by PowerGrid at 3.21 per cent.

FMCG stocks also took a hit owing to weak market sentiment and stretched valuation. ITC dropped 2.92 per cent while Hindustan Unilever fell 1.19 per cent.

Auto stocks were also down as domestic passenger vehicle sales declined for the second month in succession with 2.46 per cent drop in August. Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors dropped more than 3 per cent. Maruti fell 1.56 per cent and Bajaj Auto by 1.24 per cent.

HDFC twins also suffered losses with HDFC Bank losing more than 2 per cent and HDFC by 0.68 per cent.

Bharti Airtel, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Adani Ports, Kotak Bank, TCS, Vedanta Ltd, RIL, Sun Pharma, SBI, L&T, ONGC, Wipro, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank fell up to 3 per cent.

Gains in Coal India, NTPC, M&M and Asian Paint squeezed the overall fall to an extent.

Infosys Ltd also rose 0.31 per cent after brokerage UBS raised its target price on the stock, saying it expected revenue acceleration in FY2018-19.

Small-cap and mid-cap stocks too fell in sync with the benchmark indices, falling by up to 1.37 per cent.

In the sector-wise terms, the BSE consumer durables index was the biggest drag, down 2.47 per cent.

FMCG dropped 2.25 per cent, telecom 2.20 per cent, realty 1.78 per cent, infrastructure 1.71 per cent, metal 1.66 per cent, healthcare 1.59 per cent, auto 1.52 per cent, utilities 1.44 per cent, bankex 1.40 per cent, finance 1.40 per cent, power 1.31 per cent, PSU 1.23 per cent, energy 1.18 per cent and oili&gas 1.17 per cent.

Market breadth was negative as 1,841 scrips fell while 874 advanced on BSE. Total turnover in the equity segment was Rs 3,059.03 crore.

Globally, in the Asian region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended down 0.71 per cent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.18 per cent and Singapore fell 0.35 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei, however, ended 1.30 per cent higher.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.53 per cent and Paris down 0.19 per cent in their late morning trade. London’s FTSE too fell 0.57 per cent.

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