Sensex crashes 470 pts on weak macro data, global cues; Nifty ends at 7-month low
Equity benchmarks resumed their downward march on Thursday as tepid tax collection numbers fanned fears of a prolonged slowdown, prompting investors to unwind risky bets.
Hawkish commentary from the US Federal Reserve and incessant foreign fund outflows further weighed on sentiment, traders said.
After gyrating 626 points, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 470.41 points, or 1.29 per cent, lower at 36,093.47.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty plunged 135.85 points, or 1.25 per cent, to settle at 10,704.80. The previous closing low for Nifty was 10,604.35 on February 19, 2019.
The Centre's direct tax mop-up is said to have grown just 4.7 per cent till September 17, compared to a target of 17.5 per cent budgeted for the full year, which analysts said reflects deepening slump in demand and overall growth.
Yes Bank was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, plunging 15.52 per cent, after a Moody's report said Altico default may be credit negative for banks given their significant exposure to the real estate sector.
Among the banks Moody's rates, Yes Bank and IndusInd Bank have the largest direct exposure to commercial real estate and will be susceptible to asset quality difficulties if the sector continues to slow, the agency said.
IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank too fell up to 3.59 per cent.
Other losers included Tata Steel, Maruti, SBI, RIL, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Vedanta, Bajaj Finance, Hero MotoCorp and TCS, falling up to 3.66 per cent.
Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Asian Paints were the only gainers, rising up to 1.97 per cent.
'Lower tax collection figures spooked markets today as FIIs continued selling in key pivotals, dragging down indices. Exposure of many Private Sector Banks towards commercial real estate further accentuated selling towards afternoon trade across these counters. Investors are getting jittery on PSU names as they keep losing market capitalisation rapidly,' said S. Ranganathan, head of research at LKP Securities.
Sectorally, BSE energy, oil and gas, bankex, metal, realty, auto, healthcare, teck and IT indices cracked up to 2 per cent. Telecom was the sole gainer, inching up 0.17 per cent.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices ended up to 1.48 per cent lower.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve slashed the policy rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday but dimmed hopes for further rate cuts as it took a cautious approach to further reductions in borrowing costs.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index, Nikkei and Kospi ended on a positive note, while Hang Seng settled in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading in the green in their respective early sessions.
Foreign portfolio investor sold shares worth a net of Rs 959.09 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 780.45 crore, provisional data showed.
Brent crude futures gained 1.98 per cent to USD 64.81 per barrel (intra-day).
The rupee depreciated 6 paise (intra-day) to trade at 71.30 per US dollar.