Sensex Falls Over 300 Points, Nifty Slides Below 10,750; Financial, Auto Stocks Worst Hit

Selling pressure in financial, automobile and metal shares weighed on the markets

Domestic stock markets started Tuesday’s session on a lower note tracking global equities, which slipped amid US-China tensions and fresh COVID-19-related restrictions in California. The S&P BSE Sensex index declined as much as 0.88 per cent – or 324.58 points – to 36,369.11 in early deals, having started the session down 176.41 points at 36,517.28. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 10,710.10, after opening weaker at 10,750.85 compared to its previous close of 10,802.70. Selling pressure in financial, automobile and metal shares weighed on the markets.

At 9:43 am, the Sensex traded 273.85 points – or 0.75 per cent – lower at 36,419.84, while the Nifty was down 81.45 points – or 0.75 per cent – at 10,721.25.

Top percentage laggards in the 50-scrip Nifty basket at the time were IndusInd Bank, HDFC, Zee Entertainment, Bajaj Finserv and Axis Bank, trading between 2.01 per cent and 3.58 per cent lower. 

On the other hand, Dr Reddy’s, HCL Tech, GAIL, UPL and Bharat Petroleum – up between 0.71 per cent and 1.03 per cent – were the top Nifty gainers.

HDFC, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries were the biggest drags on the Sensex, together accounting for a loss of more than 200 points in the index.

Official data on Monday showed retail inflation worsened to 6.09 per cent in June from 5.84 per cent in March, as the government released a headline figure after a gap of two months.

Some economists expressed fear of rising price pressures amid lockdown, but said the central bank could still ease interest rates further after cutting repo rate by 115 basis points since March, in addition to providing liquidity support to address damage to the economy caused by the pandemic.

Shares in other Asian markets retreated from recent highs, with MSCI’s  broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading 0.94 per cent lower.

While Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark traded 0.84 per cent lower at the time, China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI benchmarks were down 0.65 per cent, 1.46 per cent and 0.44 per cent respectively.

On Monday, the Sensex had ended 99.36 points – or 0.27 per cent – higher at 36,693.69, and the Nifty settled at 10,802.70, up 34.65 points – or 0.32 per cent – from its previous close.

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