The Indian equity benchmarks fell sharply on Friday mirroring losses in other global markets after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeated his pledge to keep credit flowing until Americans are back to work, rebutting investors who have openly doubted he can stick to that promise once the pandemic passes. The Sensex fell as much as 535 points and Nifty 50 index briefly fell below its important psychological level of 14,950.
As of 9:22 am, the Sensex was down 340 points at 50,506 and Nifty declined 86 points to 14,995.
Overnight, Wall Street slumped on Thursday and global stock markets declined after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell repeated his pledge to keep credit flowing until Americans are back to work, rebutting investors who have openly doubted he can stick to that promise once the pandemic passes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 345.95 points, or 1.11 per cent, to 30,924.14, the S&P 500 lost 51.25 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 3,768.47 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 274.28 points, or 2.11 per cent, to 12,723.47.
Back home, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 223 crore on Thursday and domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 788 crore.
All the 11 sector gauges, barring the index of media companies, were trading lower led by the Nifty Bank index’s over 1.5 per cent fall. Metal, Financial Services, Private Bank, PSU Bank and Pharma indexes also fell between 0.6-1.5 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were trading on a mixed note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.5 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 1000 index rose 0.32 per cent.
Wipro declined nearly 2 per cent a day after the company said it will acquire British consultancy Capco for $1.45 billion in cash, as the software giant looks to boost its offerings for the financial services industry that generates the bulk of its revenue. London-based Capco makes 96 per cent of its revenue from Europe and North America, from where Indian IT services companies have traditionally won the most lucrative contracts.
IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Tata Steel, Hindalco, JSW Steel, SBI Life, Larsen & Toubro, Power Grid, HDFC Bank, UPL and Axis Bank also fell between 1-2.5 per cent.
On the flipside, ONGC, GAIL India, BPCL, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Oil, tech Mahindra, NTPC, Eicher Motors and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,105 shares were advancing while 1,009 were declining on the BSE.