New Delhi: The Indian equity indices plunged on Friday led by sell-off in all sectors amid weak global cues. As of 9:26 am, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell 780 points or 1.32 per cent to 58,146; while the broader NSE Nifty slipped 218 points or 1.24 per cent to 17,388.
Asian share markets fell on Friday, after red-hot U.S. inflation data and hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official fuelled bets on U.S. interest rates being hiked more aggressively and sent U.S. Treasury yields jumping. Broader moves across Asian stocks followed U.S. data which showed consumer prices surged 7.5 per cent in January on a year-over-year basis, marking the biggest annual increase in inflation in 40 years.
Sentiment further soured after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said the data had made him “dramatically” more hawkish. Bullard, a voting member of the Fed’s rate-setting committee this year, said he now wanted a full percentage point of interest rate hikes by July 1.
Overnight, U.S. markets had sold off more aggressively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.47 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 1.81 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.1 per cent.
Back home, mid- and small-cap shares traded on a negative note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.63 per cent and small-cap shares moved 0.61 per cent lower.
On the stock-specific front, Tech Mahindra was the top Nifty gainer as the stock cracked 2.86 per cent to Rs 1,426.55. Infosys, Wipro, Bajaj Finance and HCL Tech were also among the laggards.
In contrast, BPCL, IOC, ONGC, Hindalco and Coal India were among the gainers.
On BSE, the overall market breadth was weak as 723 shares were advancing while 1,882 were declining.
On the 30-share BSE platform, TechM, Infosys, Wipro, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Dr Reddy’s and HCL Tech attracted the most losses with their shares sliding as much as 2.81 per cent.
Sensex had surged 460 points or 0.79 per cent to settle at 58,926 on Thursday, while Nifty had moved 142 points or 0.81 per cent higher to close at 17,606.
Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept key rates unchanged to support economic growth. The central bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) held the lending rate, or the repo rate, at 4 per cent and the reverse repo rate, or the key borrowing rate, at 3.35 per cent.