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Sensex logs 2 per cent weekly fall on US poll blues

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex lost over 2 per cent to end the week at 27,274 — a nearly four-month low — and the Nifty crashed below the key 8,500-mark, mirroring global turbulence amid pointers that the US presidential election due on November 8 is headed for a tight finish. The weekly loss of 667 points includes that of the Muhurat session.

Sentiment took a downturn in line with weakness in global indices after opinion polls indicated that Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are neck and neck in the race for the top job. The market found itself in a spot of bother after one poll showed that Trump holds a slight lead over market favourite Hillary Clinton, which rattled investors.

Anxiety deepened, given Trump’s stance on several issues, including foreign policy and trade relations. The renewed focus on the upcoming US poll offset strong domestic PMI numbers and the outcome of the GST Council meeting which finalised the tax structure. The investors are keenly tracking key central bank meetings, including those of US Fed Reserve and Bank of Japan.

The selling pressure intensified as pharma stocks took the biggest knock amid reports of a likely US federal probe of Indian drug companies on the issue of price collusion. The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 28,066.32 and hovered between 28,095.71 and 27,193.61 before ending the week at 27,274.15, a loss of 667.36 points, or 2.39 per cent.

The NSE Nifty also fell 204.25 points, or 2.36 per cent, to close the week at 8,433.75, after shuttling between 8,678.25 and 8,400.25. Maximum losses came from healthcare, realty, oil and gas and PSUs. Capital goods, banking, consumer durables, power, IT and technology too suffered as also second-line shares of mid-cap and small-cap companies.