Indian benchmark indices entered correction territory as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military operations in Eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The Nifty 50 and Sensex have now fallen more than 10 per cent from their recent highs after the brief recovery seen in January. Both the benchmark indices were at their lowest levels since mid-December. At 9.50 am, the BSE Sensex was ruling at 55,207.7, down 2,024.32 points or 3.54 per cent. The NSE The NSE Nifty trading at 16,490.45, down 573 points or 3.36 per cent. Asian peers were down up to 3.3 per cent.
Markets Enter Correction Territory as Russia Invades Ukraine
The Indian benchmark indices entered the correction territory. This came as an aftermath of shrugging of sanctions by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government recognised the independence of two eastern Ukrainain regions earlier this week, took note of ‘a plea to Moscow’ for help to stop alleged Ukrainian aggression. Further, the Russian President authorised a military operation, which some agencies suggested could be the start of war in Europe over Russia’s demands for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion. Putin, however, insisted Russia does not plan to occupy Ukraine.
Investors lose Rs 10 Lakh Crore
Russia ordered military operations in Ukraine and reports emerged of blasts in some major Ukrainian cities resulted bloodbath on the Dalal Street, with nine of every 10 stocks bleeding in the red and investors losing Rs 10 lakh crore in market value on Thursday. A total of 2,758 of 3,057 shares trading for the day were trading lower, another 95 were unchanged and only 224 stocks were defying the weak trend.
All Sensex Components in the Red
All Sensex stocks were trading in the red. The worst was Tata Steel, which fell 3.32 per cent to Rs 1,102. IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank tanked 3 per cent each. UltraTech Cement, Tech Mahindra, SBI, M&M, TCS, Infosys and HDFC were all trading up to 3 per cent lower.
Nifty Technical Outlook
Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said: “For the last two days, even as we played along the upside possibilities, we had found it very difficult to see much past 17,250, which we now understand was a result of the distribution signals that Nifty was given out. But while ruling out collapse possibilities yesterday, we did set a catchment area as deep as 17,150-17,000 for the anticipated turn lower. By close, 17,050 straddles were pricing in the potential for sub-16,900 levels today. But momentum or standard deviation studies are yet to suggest a collapse to 16,200, encouraging us to look for reversals once near 16,580.”
VIX Spikes Above 30
Dalal Street’s fear gauge index India VIX spiked 22.35 per cent to 30.03. Analysts had warned that VIX hitting the level of 30 could open up doors for 16,400 level on Nifty50.
Moscow Stock Exchange Suspends Trading
Moscow Stock Exchange on Thursday suspended trading amid Ukraine-Russia tensions. In a short release on its website, the exchange said: “Moscow Exchange has suspended trading on all of its markets until further notice.” This comes on the backdrop of Russian President Valdmir Putin announced military operations in Eastern Ukraine.
Crude Oil at $100
For India, the risk aversion in the global market is made worse by the fact that global crude oil prices topped $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014 due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Traders fear Russia could face sanctions that could hurt its ability to export oil, which could further hit supply.
Expiry of F&O Series
The crisis in Ukraine is unfolding at the worst possible time for traders given that the February derivatives series will expire later today. The expiry of derivative contracts will cause additional volatility on top of what is being caused by geopolitical risks. The India VIX index topped 30 points, up 22 per cent in its biggest move in many months.
Global Stock Markets in Correction Mode
“The growing concern surrounding the deteriorating Ukraine crisis has pushed global stock markets into correction mode. Investors should wait and watch the unfolding situation before taking any major commitments,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
“Selling during a crisis had never been a good decision. Therefore, investors should not panic and sell. Even though the situation is fluid, this is unlikely to become a prolonged hot conflict. Investors should not panic and sell their bluechip stocks. They can churn portfolios by selling weak stones and buying high quality stocks in IT and financials,” Vijayakumar added.
Parth Nyati, founder, Tradingo, said: “Anecdotally, such kinds of geopolitical issues provide a good buying opportunity for the long-term investors and we are in a structural bull run that is likely to continue for the next couple of years where intermediate corrections will be part of this journey. Long-term investors should not panic and look for buying opportunities from lower levels where the domestic economy facing sectors like capital goods, infrastructure, real estate, financials should be on investors’ radar.”