Markets slump for third day on fears of escalating tensions in Middle East; IT stocks drag

PTI, Apr 16, 2024, 4:47 PM IST

Representative image (source: PTI)

Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty continued to slump on Tuesday dragged down by heavy selling in IT stocks amid weak global trends and fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Outflow of foreign fund also dented investors’ sentiment.

Continuing its downtrend for the third day running, the 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 456.10 points or 0.62 per cent to settle at 72,943.68.

During the day, it slumped 714.75 points or 0.97 per cent to 72,685.03.

The NSE Nifty declined 124.60 points or 0.56 per cent to finish at 22,147.90.

From the Sensex basket, Infosys, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services, and Larsen & Toubro were the major laggards.

Titan Company, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank, Maruti, ITC, Power Grid and Reliance Industries were the gainers.

“The domestic market sustained its consolidation trend for the third consecutive day, amid apprehensions regarding geopolitical tensions and drop in the probability of a rate cut in the short-term. Heightened concerns arose following stronger-than-anticipated US retail sales, amplifying the assumption that the US Federal Reserve might delay rate cuts, leading to a notable uptick in the dollar index and US bond yields.

“The IT sector saw the most significant decline, primarily due to expectations of earnings being affected by the weak discretionary spending in the US and muted domestic Q4 results,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge climbed 0.57 per cent and midcap index advanced 0.05 per cent.

Among the indices, IT declined 2.32 per cent, teck (2.09 per cent), bankex (0.50 per cent), metal (0.36 per cent), capital goods (0.26 per cent) and commodities (0.24 per cent).

Energy, consumer discretionary, healthcare, industrials, consumer durables, oil & gas, and power were the gainers.

Stock markets would remain closed on Wednesday for Ram Navami.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong settled lower.

European markets were quoting in the red. Wall Street ended in negative territory on Monday.

Israel’s military chief said on Monday that his country will respond to Iran’s weekend attack, but he did not elaborate on when and how as world leaders urged against retaliation, trying to avoid a spiral of violence in the Middle East.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude dipped 0.26 per cent to USD 89.87 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 3,268 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.

The BSE benchmark tanked 845.12 points or 1.14 per cent to settle at 73,399.78 on Monday. The NSE Nifty declined 246.90 points or 1.10 per cent to finish at 22,272.50.

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