Top laggards on the 50-scrip Nifty index were Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and Maruti Suzuki India.
Stock markets moved lower amid cautious trade on Thursday, a day marked with expiry of the monthly derivatives contracts. BSE benchmark index Sensex shed 218 points to close at 36,324, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 76 points to end at 10,977. The losses came a day after the government announced hikes in import duty on nineteen items, as part of its plan to curb “non-essential imports” and contain current account deficit. Banking, financial services, auto and pharma stocks weighed on the indices, but some advances in IT shares limited the downside.
Here are 10 things to know:
1. Top laggards on the 50-scrip Nifty index were Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and Maruti Suzuki India, closing between 3.3 per cent and 9 per cent lower. The Bank Nifty closed 1.3 per cent lower. Prominent losers on the sectoral index included Punjab National Bank, IDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda, which declined 4-8 per cent.
2. The markets started the session on a lacklustre note but losses deepened in the afternoon. The derivatives (futures and options) contracts for the month of September expired at the end of Thursday’s session.
3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sought to ease liquidity concerns by announcing a relaxation in cash requirement rules for banks. The central bank also said it would provide “durable liquidity” amid growing worries of a potential credit crunch in the economy.
4. Analysts say the markets remain in a cautious mode after the recent selloff and may not take the measures positively in the immediate future.
5. “Indication of more hikes by the Fed is a big negative for global markets and India cannot be in isolation,” AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital Markets, told NDTV.
6. Overnight, the Federal Reserve announced a 25-basis-point hike in key interest rates and left intact its plans to steadily tighten monetary policy. The US central bank forecast that the economy would enjoy at least three more years of growth. The Fed foresees another rate hike in December, three more next year, and one in 2020.
7. “Markets are currently struggling mainly due to sentimental dent despite reaffirmation of liquidity support by the apex bank and other related agencies. The continuous fall in NBFC and banking counters is adding to that pressure,” said Jayant Manglik, president, Religare Broking.
8. On the other hand, IT stocks rose with the Nifty IT finishing 0.5 per cent higher. IT was the only sector finishing the session with a gain.
9. The rupee gained some ground in the morning but gave up the advances to trade lower against the US dollar. The rupee is down more than 13 per cent against the greenback so far this year. Weakness in the rupee boosts profitability of exporters such as IT companies.
10. Equities in other Asian peers dipped slightly, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan trading 0.08 per cent lower.