Stock markets fear renewed war


Mumbai: Reversing their two-session upward streak, equity benchmarks faltered under pressure from sellers on Wednesday as the Russia-Ukraine war sapped investor confidence and rattled financial markets around the world. A sharp depreciation of the rupee, relentless selling by foreign investors and lackluster macro data added to the gloom, analysts said.

The 30-stock BSE Sensex opened weakly and dipped around 1,200 points in intraday trading, before regaining some lost ground. It eventually finished 778.38 or 1.38% lower at 55,468.90. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty fell 187.95 points or 1.12% to close at 16,605.95.

The market capitalization (mcap) of BSE-listed companies rose to Rs 86,741.74 crore to reach Rs 2,51,52,303.35 crore alongside the sell-off.

Maruti Suzuki was the big loser in the Sensex pack, falling 6%, after the country’s biggest automaker announced lower sales and production figures for February, hit by the global shortage of semiconductors. Other auto stocks also suffered from a sell-off. Other significant laggards were Dr Reddy’s, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins and UltraTech Cement, slipping as much as 5.14%. In contrast, Tata Steel, Titan, Reliance Industries, Nestlé India and Axis Bank climbed to 5.54%. Market heavyweight Reliance Industries jumped 1.67% after crude oil prices hit the $110 a barrel mark. Market breadth was negative, with 23 of Sensex’s 30 constituents closing in the red. “War buildup drowned out the global market, alarming the Indian market to begin with substantial weakness. The negative effect was more on large caps in line with weak Q3 GDP data and deteriorating growth FY22 to 8.9% vs. NSO’s 9.2%.”It makes sense to deploy excess cash in your portfolio gradually assuming medium to long-term future stability. However, volatility is expected in the short term given the boiling of the crude price, the outcome of the national election and the state of Fed policy in the coming weeks,” said Vinod Nair, head ( research) at Geojit Financial Services. Continuing their selling spree, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) on Monday sold shares worth Rs 3,948.47 crore in the Indian capital market, according to exchange data.

On a sector basis, BSE autos, banking, financials, consumer discretionary and telecommunications fell 2.87%, while metals, power, oil & gas and utilities recorded gains. In the broader markets, BSE’s mid and small cap gauges fell to 0.17%. Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine entered its seventh day on Wednesday, with fighting escalating in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and other major cities even as Western nations tightened sanctions on Moscow.


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