Published: Mon, September 25, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Sensex crashes, Nifty sees 2017's biggest fall

Sensex crashes, Nifty sees 2017's biggest fall

Weighed down by banking stocks, the 30-share BSE Sensex opened lower and fell further before settling down by 447.60 points, or 1.38 per cent - its biggest single-day fall since November 15 a year ago - at 31,922.44.

Key Indian equity indices on Friday witnessed the steepest fall since November 2016, on the back of escalating geo-political tensions between North Korea and the United States, a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure in capital goods, metal and banking stocks. The weakness in the equities was also felt in the forex market with the rupee hitting a low of 65.11, a level last seen on April 5 amidst concern regarding India's fiscal deficit. It had lost 53.72 points in the previous three days. After opening the day on a weak note, the Nifty witnessed a steep fall to end the trading session at 9,964.40, down 157.50 or 1.56 per cent.

The Indian government is considering a plan to loosen the fiscal deficit target so that it could spend an additional Rs 50,000 crore ($7.7 billion) in the financial year ending in March 2018.

The rupee - which plummeted by a whopping 53 paise to end at 64.80 a dollar on Thursday - dropped by 31 paise to a four-month low level of 65.12 intra-day trading against the U.S. dollar before closing at 64.79/80 on Friday amid frenetic dollar demand from importers and banks.

Weak Asian cues after China's sovereign rating was downgraded by agency on fears over its ballooning debt and sustained foreign fund outflows, too negatively impacted market sentiment.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 362.85 points or 2.27 percent to settle at 15,609.89.

Top gainers on Friday included Wipro, Coal India, HCL Tech and Bharti Infratel while Tata Steel, L&T, Reliance, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Vedanta, Yes Bank, Ultratech Cement and Hero Motocrop declined. "The rupee fell to a almost six-month low of 65.14 against the U.S. dollar - its lowest since April this year", Desai added.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrips worth Rs 1,241.73 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 521.17 crore.

Sector-wise, all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed in the red, led by capital goods (down 603.52 points), metals (down 554.26 points) and banking (down 526.84 points) indices.

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