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US Fed rate hike fears rattle bourses

Sensex, Nifty join global selloff; Nifty ends below 17,700; HDFC twins remained major drags for 2nd session; heavy selling in index-heavyweights TCS and Reliance Ind; All Eyes on RBI MPC outcome today

Sensex in lower top formation

Sensex in lower top formation 

Declining For 3rd Session

- BSE Sensex slumped 575.46 pts to 59,034.95

- NSE Nifty declined 168.10 pts to 17,639.55

- Wipro, TCS, RIL and Power Grid in red

- Axis Bank, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, M&M, and Dr Reddy's among gainers

- 1,714 stocks declined, while 1,694 advanced and 106 remain unchanged

Mumbai: Declining for the third straight session, equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 575 points on Thursday, tracking heavy losses in index-heavyweights HDFC twins, TCS, and Reliance Industries (RIL) amid a selloff in global equity markets. US Fed meeting minutes indication to a faster than expected policy rate hike to fight elevated inflation and surging oil prices amid uncertainties on the geopolitical front further weighed on sentiment, traders said. Investors also await cues from the RBI policy meeting outcome, which will be announced on April 8.

The 30-share gauge slumped 575.46 points or 0.97 per cent to settle at 59,034.95. During the day, it plunged 633.06 points or 1.06 per cent to 58,977.35. The broader Nifty-50 also declined 168.10 points or 0.94 per cent to close at 17,639.55. "Negative sentiment continued for the third straight session as the US Fed's hawkish stance has raised concerns of steeper interest rate hikes going ahead, while investors also trimmed their positions ahead of RBI policy, although most of the experts believe the MPC may maintain status quo on policy rates. The fall was largely due to profit-taking in Reliance Industries and other energy stocks amid volatility in global crude oil prices," Shrikant Chouhan, head (equity research-retail), Kotak Securities Ltd, said.

Deepak Jasani, head (retail research), HDFC Securities, noted that "Asian shares retreated on Thursday, in line with the overnight global selloff. European shares on Thursday recovered from a selloff, even though risks from a hawkish Federal Reserve and Washington's new sanctions on Russia kept investors on edge."

"If announcements are in-line with market expectations, like rates being unchanged, inflation forecast moderately increased and robust economic outlook maintained, then the market will trade positively considering corrections during the week and falling crude prices or else challenges will prevail," Vinod Nair, head (research) at Geojit Financial Services.

"Recent market weakness is partly due to the increasingly hawkish commentary from the US Fed," said VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

"Domestic equities closed lower, following the negative global cues. Investors continue to focus on Fed's possible aggressive monetary policy stance whilst tracking the developments of the Russia-Ukraine war," remarked Mitul Shah, head (research) at Reliance Securities.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) offloaded shares worth Rs2,279.97 crore on Wednesday, as per exchange data. As many as 1,714 stocks declined, while 1,694 advanced and 106 remained unchanged. HDFC twins remained among the biggest drags for the second consecutive session on Thursday, slipping nearly 3 per cent. Titan was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, falling 3.24 per cent, followed by HDFC, HDFC Bank, Wipro, TCS, RIL and Power Grid.

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