USA rate-hike fear, weak rupee pull equity indices lower

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On the global front, Asian markets ended mostly lower while European markets were trading higher after Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

MSCI's broadest dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent, shrugging off slight gains on Wall Street.

After opening in the positive zone at 32,406.42, the Sensex advanced to the day's high of 32,462.61 at the outset largely on the back of unabated buying by domestic investors.

Small-cap and mid-cap stocks moved in tandem with the benchmark indices, weakening by up to 0.51 per cent. Almost two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE. "Investors could now be eyeing GST rate revisions and updates on GST implementation in petroleum products to take the next crucial step", said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.19% to end at 22,412.59 points, its seventh straight record close.

The rupee fell sharply by 26 paise to 64.53 against the dollar at the interbank forex market in early trade today as the greenback strengthened overseas. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) showed support by taking shares worth a net Rs 775.61 crore while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) discarded equities worth Rs 96.92 crore yesterday, according to provisional data.

Market heavyweight Reliance Industries was in a sweet spot as the scrip hit a record high of Rs 872.10 (intra-day) before closing 0.85 per cent higher at Rs 847.10 after the IUC cut is seen as benefiting the company's telecom unit, Reliance Jio.

Nasdaq closed in red, down by 0.08 per cent while FTSE 100 was also down 0.05 per cent at the closing on Wednesday. "Ashok Leyland, Asian Granito, Bombay Dyeing, Centrum Capital, Hexaware Tech, IGL, Meghmani Organics, Punj Lloyd, Trident and Yes Bank, among others, were among those stocks", Desai told IANS. ICICI Bank fell as much as 2% to Rs 285 - its lowest since 11 August, making it the top drag on both indexes. The stocks of banks, media, real estate and FMCG posted worst decline today while pharma sector shares ended in green led by the rally in Dr Reddy's, Cipla, Lupin, and Sun Pharma.

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