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Stock markets bleed on unabated FII outflows

Q4 earnings, ongoing poll uncertainty dampen investor sentiment; Heavy selling in HDFC Bank, L&T and RIL weighed on key indices; India VIX surges 6.5% to 18.20 level

Stock markets bleed on unabated FII outflows

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex on Thursday crashed over 1,000 points, while NSE Nifty dived below the 22,000 level due to across-the-board selloff amid general election uncertainties. Besides, persistent foreign fund outflows and heavy selling pressure in HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Industries weighed on investor sentiment, traders said.

Declining for the third day running, the 30-share BSE Sensex dropped 1,062.22 points or 1.45 per cent to settle at 72,404.17. During the day, it tanked 1,132.21 points or 1.54 per cent to 72,334.18. The NSE Nifty dived 345 points or 1.55 per cent to 21,957.50. It tumbled 370.1 points or 1.65 per cent to 21,932.40 during the session.

“The broader market witnessed volatility, underscoring caution on account of Q4 earnings and general election uncertainties, which led investors to stay on the sidelines. We expect the trend to continue in the short term as the market slid below the physiological level of 22,000. The global indices are trading with mixed cues ahead of the BOE policy meeting later today and US inflation figures due next week,” said Vinod Nair, Head (Research), Geojit Financial Services.

“Nifty ended sharply lower led by institutional selling and traders squaring up due to nervousness on election progress. World shares were mostly lower on Thursday ahead of the Bank of England’s policy decision and after the US market’s pause stretched into a second day and as Chinese stocks rose after China reported better-than-expected trade figures for April,” said Deepak Jasani, head (retail research), HDFC Securities.

“The market is continuously witnessing pressure ahead of the election outcome. We don’t have any global reason for this correction, while some uncertainty ahead of the big event is causing profit-booking in the market. Our market has been largely driven by domestic investors, including both HNIs and institutional investors, for the last few months. Now, they are sitting on the sidelines for the last couple of days and taking some profit off the table ahead of the big event, while FIIs are continuously selling in our market, which is pushing the market lower. The Volatility index, India VIX, has risen 70 per cent from its lows, which is also creating some uncertainty among traders and investors,” added Santosh Meena, head (research), Swastika Investmart Ltd.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge declined 2.41 per cent and midcap index dropped 2.01 per cent. Among the indices, oil and gas lost 3.41 per cent, capital goods dropped 3.37 per cent, metal tanked 3.13 per cent, industrials (2.92 per cent), utilities (2.59 per cent) and commodities (2.39 per cent). On the other hand, auto emerged as the major gainer. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs6,669.10 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data. From the Sensex basket, Larsen & Toubro tanked over 5 per cent after March quarter earnings. Asian Paints, JSW Steel, ITC, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, NTPC, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and Power Grid were among the laggards. In contrast, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, Infosys and HCL Tech were the gainers.

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