Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex on Friday plunged 221 points amid cautious trade to close at week’s lowest of 29,706.61. Nifty also dived downwards by 0.69 per cent and ended below the 9,200-mark after US strikes on Syrian air base roiled global markets.
US launched a massive strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a chemical attack on civilians, stoking fears of a geopolitical flare-up.
Profit-booking by participants in view of the domestic markets’ recent record-setting run also fuelled the downtrend, brokers said.
The 30-share Sensex stayed in the negative zone for the whole day and settled lower by 220.73 points, or 0.74 percent, at 29,706.61. This is its lowest level since March 31, when it had closed at 29,620.50.
The gauge had lost 46.90 points in the previous session after the Reserve Bank left the key policy rate unchanged, inline with Street expectations.
The broader Nifty too succumbed to selling pressure and slipped below the 9,200-mark to hit a low of 9,188.10, before ending at 9,198.30, down 63.65 points, or 0.69 per cent.
However, the Sensex and Nifty recorded their second straight weekly gain by rising 86.11 points, or 0.29 per cent, and 24.55 points, or 0.26 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the rupee today soared to a 20-month high of64.17 (intra-day) against the dollar, its highest since August11, 2015, amid buoyant growth outlook by the Reserve Bank inits monetary policy review Thursday.
“Risk appetite took a hit after geopolitical tensions pulled global equities down. Soaring oil prices and continuing strength in the rupee also distorted the usual sectoral diversification themes,” said Anand James, Chief MarketStrategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 142.68 crore, while domestic institutional investors(DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 205.64 crore yesterday, and consumers per provisional data.
Sun Pharma was the top Sensex loser, skidding 3.04 percent to close at Rs 665.65, followed by Lupin, which fell 2.61per cent to Rs 1,410.35.
Shares of Reliance Industries plunged 2.28 percent to end the day at Rs 1,405.55 after telecom regulator Trai yesterday ordered Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to withdraw the three-month ‘complimentary’ offer of unlimited data usage and free calls on payment of a minimum Rs 303.
Other losers included Adani Ports, Dr Reddy’s, Infosys, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, HUL, SBI, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, Power Grid, Asian Paints and M&M, falling by up to 2.37 percent.
On the other hand, TCS, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, HeroMotoCorp, NTPC and L&T closed higher by up to 1.14 percent.
Sector-wise, the BSE healthcare index fell the most (1.43per cent), followed by metal (1.24 per cent), realty (1.19 percent), bank (0.96 percent), power (0.63 and consumer durables (0.63 per cent).
Oil and gas rose 0.48 per cent and capital goods gained0.10 per cent.
The broader markets too fell as investors locked in gains.The small-cap index declined 0.47 per cent while the mid-capindex closed 0.30 per cent lower.
Globally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.12 per cent, Singapore fell 0.08 per cent and Taiwan declined 0.25 percent. Japan’s Nikkei, however, ended higher by 0.36 per cent.
In Europe, most indices retreated, with London’s FTSE falling 0.10 per cent, France’s Paris CAC-30 down 0.30 percent and Germany’s Frankfurt falling 0.50 percent in their early trade.
Investors are also tracking the meeting between USPresident Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.