Sensex Today: Benchmark indices ended on a negative note in the volatile session on March 23 with Nifty below 17,100.
Equity markets staged a U-shaped trade on Thursday as investors juggled between the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, and weekly F&O expiry. S&P BSE Sensex settled near the day’s low level of 57,839, at 57,925, down 289 points or 0.5 per cent. The Nifty50, too, ended at 17,077, down 75 points or 0.44 per cent.
Selling in heavyweights like SBI (down 2 per cent), Kotak Bank, HCL Tech, Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, HDFC, and ICICI Bank weighed on the benchmarks. Elsewhere, realty, energy, and PSU bank stocks kept broader markets in check.
The BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices fell 0.45 per cent, and 0.15 per cent.
Dr. V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said: “The 25 bp rate hike by the Fed and dovish commentary were on expected lines. The Fed is trying its best to balance inflation control with financial stability. The strong message from Jerome Powell that “the US banking system is sound, resilient and well capitalised with adequate liquidity” should calm the markets. But the late day sell-off was triggered by the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comment that they are not considering blanket deposit insurance. This kind of gyrations happen in a highly volatile whipsawing market driven by daily doses of news. The Fed has signalled perhaps one more rate hike this year and then a pause. Investors need to expect only moderate returns from the market in the present context of high interest rates. Investment in fixed income and systematic investment in high quality stocks for the long-term is the ideal investment strategy now."
Asian stocks struggled Thursday in the wake of a slump on Wall Street after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen rattled bank shares and the Federal Reserve pushed back against bets for interest rate cuts this year. Benchmark indexes fell in Japan, South Korea and Australia while a gauge of US-listed Chinese companies fell earlier. Weakness in the dollar may help some assets in Asia, particularly in emerging markets.
Wall Street gyrated to end sharply lower on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve delivered a widely expected 25 basis point policy hike, while hinting that it was on the verge of pausing future increases in view of recent turmoil in the financial sector.
Oil prices fell on Thursday following three sessions of gains, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell re-stated his commitment to curbing inflation, including the possibility of more interest rate rises.
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