Equity benchmark indices closed 2 per cent lower on Thursday as traders booked profit a day after the US Federal Reserve said that it sees interest rates near zero through 2022. On the economic front, Standard and Poor’s affirmed its rating on India’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit at the lowest investment-grade level but retained a stable outlook on the economy.
At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 709 points or 2.07 per cent at 33,538 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 214 points or 2.12 per cent at 9,902. All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in a sea of red with Nifty PSU bank down by 3.7 per cent, financial service by 2.3 per cent, auto by 2 per cent and IT by 1.4 per cent.
Among stocks, telecom stocks plunged as the Supreme Court asked operators to present their views on a timeframe to pay the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues and the nature of guarantees. Vodafone Idea lost by 13.22 per cent, Bharti Infratel by 8.9 per cent and Bharti Airtel by 2.7 per cent.
State Bank of India was down by 5.6 per cent, Bajaj Finance by 3.9 per cent while auto majors Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Either Motors lost by 4.7 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. The other which traded in the red zone were Sun Pharma, Grasim and metal giant Vedanta.
However, IndusInd Bank climbed 4.3 per cent to Rs 521.30 per share. The other prominent winners were Hero MotoCorp, Nestle India, Power Grid Corporation, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto. Meanwhile, Asian markets traded lower following mixed close on Wall Street overnight after US Fed projected the economy to contract by 6.5 per cent in 2020.
Japan’s Nikkei slipped by 2.82 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down by 2.27 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite by 0.78 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi dived by 0.86 per cent. The Dow had ended on Wednesday down 1.04 per cent while the S&P 500 lost by 0.53 per cent.