Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Sensex down 778 points, Nifty barely at 16,600

Indian equity indices fell sharply on Wednesday, dragged by automobile and banking stocks amid weak global cues. Concerns about the impact of aggressive sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine put investors on edge. The benchmark BSE Sensex closed 778 points or 1.38 per cent lower at 55,469; While the broader NSE Nifty closed 188 points or 1.12 per cent lower at 16,606.

Sentiment also turned bleak as government data showed economic growth slowed to 5.4 per cent in the October-December quarter, from 8.5 per cent in the previous quarter. The sharp jump in crude oil prices added to the pressure. Brent crude futures were trading above $110, last seen in July 2014.

Mid- and small-cap stocks ended on a mixed note as the Nifty Midcap 100 index gained 0.02 per cent and small-cap stocks gained 0.50 per cent.

Most of the sector gauges – compiled by the National Stock Exchange – were trading in the red. Nifty Auto and Nifty Bank lost 2.96 per cent and 2.30 per cent, respectively, in the index. However, Nifty Metal gained up to 4.07 per cent.

On the stock-specific front, Maruti Sukuji was the top gainer in India Nifty as the stock fell 6 per cent to Rs 7,815.15. Dr Reddy’s, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints and Hero MotoCorp also fell behind.

On BSE, the overall market breadth was slightly positive as 1,709 shares advanced while 1,633 declined.

Maruti, Dr Reddy’s, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, HDFC Twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the top losers on the 30-share BSE index.

In contrast, Tata Steel, Titan, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, Nestle India, PowerGrid and Bajaj Finserv were in the green.

Domestic indices had closed on Tuesday on account of Mahashivratri.