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Inflation, Omicron woes worrisome for mkts

Key indices inch down on weak global cues; Mkt sentiment turns weaker after WHO statement on Omicron variant of Covid-19; Investors awaiting Fed policy week ahead

Indian equities open negative; Sensex, Nifty indices down 1.5% each

Indian equities open negative; Sensex, Nifty indices down 1.5% each

Losses in 3rd session

- BSE Sensex declined 166.33 pts to 58,117.09

- NSE Nifty fell 43.35 pts to 17,324.90

- Inflation, Omicron woes impacting mkts

- ITC top laggard

- Bajaj Finance, Kotak Bank, Airtel, RIL & Bajaj Finserv in the red

- PowerGrid, Dr Reddy's, Nestle India, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank & IndusInd Bank moved up

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex continued its downward trajectory for the third consecutive session on Tuesday as spiking inflation and global concerns over the Omicron variant sapped risk appetite.

A weakening rupee and unabated foreign fund outflows added to the gloom, traders said.

The 30-share benchmark declined 166.33 points or 0.29 per cent to end at 58,117.09. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 43.35 points or 0.25 per cent to 17,324.90.

ITC was the top loser on the Sensex chart, shedding 2.73 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Kotak Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries and Bajaj Finserv. On the other hand, PowerGrid, Dr Reddy's, Nestle India, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank were among the winners, climbing as much as 3.84 per cent.

"Due to elevated levels of inflation and weak Asian markets, the domestic indices extended losses ahead of the US Fed policy announcement. Offsetting a favourable base effect and cut in levies on fuel, India's CPI inflation rose to 4.91 per cent YoY in November as higher input costs forced producers to hike prices. Moreover, India's wholesale inflation soared to a 12-year high of 14.23 per cent YoY underpinned by mineral oil, base metals, crude petroleum and natural gas," said Vinod Nair, head (research) at Geojit Financial Services.

Ajit Mishra, V-P (research), Religare Broking, adds: "Participants are maintaining a cautious stance ahead of the US Fed meeting outcome scheduled on Wednesday. We reiterate our view to limit leveraged positions and maintain positions on both sides."

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market on Monday, offloading shares worth Rs 2,743.44 crore, according to exchange data.

Sector-wise, BSE telecom, auto, energy and FMCG indices slipped up to 1.37 per cent, while power, utilities, oil and gas and healthcare ended with gains.

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