Sensex, Nifty drop as trade war fears grip markets
Mumbai, Mar 22 The benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 130 points today due to profit booking in realty, capital goods, teck, auto and banking stocks due to renewed global trade war fears and losses in European markets. The 30-share Sensex opened higher at 33,206.99 and advanced to hit a high of 33,281.77 in early trade. However, it slipped into the negative zone to touch a low of 32,963.31 in afternoon trade as fresh worries appeared after reports that the US President is mulling new sanctions on China. The barometer finally ended lower by 129.91 points or 0.39 per cent at 33,006.27, ending its two-day gaining streak. The NSE Nifty closed down by 40.50 points or 0.39 per cent at 10,114.75 as banking stocks dropped. It shuttled between 10,207.85 and 10,105.40 during the day. "Market started on a positive note on account of less hawkish Fed commentary on CY18 rate hike trajectory and in turn US 10-year yield declined. However, the gains were only short lived due to negative trend in European and other Asian market owing to re-emergence of trade war," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said. "Investors are utilising every rally as an opportunity to sell," he added. The US Trade Representative (USTR) said America has strong evidence of Beijing violating its commitments on intellectual property and technology transfers, fanning speculation that the White House may announce sanctions against China tomorrow. China also promised to reply with "necessary measures" to defend its "legitimate rights and interests". Equity benchmarks erased early gains after realty, capital goods, teck, auto, PSU, IT, power and bankex counters came under selling pressure, falling up to 1.28 per cent. Banking stocks again faced the heat largely due to weekly derivatives expiry in the NSE Bank Nifty. SBI, ICICI Bank, PNB, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and Bank of Baroda ended with losses up to 2.62 per cent. Other losers included Wipro, MandM, Maruti Suzuki, Dr Reddy's, Adani Ports, Infosys, Bajaj Auto, LandT, TCS, Coal India, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Power Grid, Hero MotoCorp, ITC, Tata Steel and HUL, falling up to 2.32 per cent. However, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, RIL, Sun Pharma, Asian Paint and NTPC ended in the positive zone, rising up to 2.45 per cent. Selling pressure also emerged in the broader markets the BSE small-cap index down by 1.05 per cent and mid-caps fell 0.75 per cent. Among the BSE sectoral indices, realty fell the most at 1.28 per cent, followed by capital goods (1.07 per cent), teck (0.99 per cent), auto (0.94 per cent), PSU (0.93 per cent), IT (0.91 per cent), infrastructure (0.69 per cent), power (0.66 per cent), bankex (0.66 per cent), healthcare (0.60 per cent), FMCG (0.36 per cent) and oil and gas (0.29 per cent). However, consumer durables rose by 0.79 per cent and metal 0.37 per cent. Globally, Asian share markets ended mixed and European bourses opened lower following overnight losses on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time this year. The Federal Reserve delivered its sixth interest-rate increase since the end of 2015 and signalled it still expects to deliver two more before the end of the year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.09 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.53 per cent and Singapore down 0.65 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was up by 0.99 per cent. In the Eurozone, Paris CAC 40 fell 1.06 per cent and Frankfurt moved down 1.01 per cent in their early deals. The UK's FTSE also traded lower 0.53 per cent.
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