New Delhi- Investors became poorer by Rs 4.59 lakh crore on Wednesday due to a sharp fall in the equity markets where the BSE Sensex plummeted 1,628 points, dragged by bank stocks and weak global trends.

Extending its previous day’s decline, the 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 1,628.01 points or 2.23 per cent to settle at 71,500.76. During the day, it nosedived 1,699.47 points or 2.32 per cent to 71,429.30.

The market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies eroded by Rs 4,59,327.64 crore to Rs 3,70,35,933.18 crore. In two days of market fall, investors’ wealth fell by Rs 5,73,576.83 crore.

“Hawkish comments by the US Fed triggered a spike in yields on the US 10-year bonds and the US dollar index, which spooked European and Asian markets, including India. India’s stock market valuations are also expensively valued compared to other global stock indices and investors would wait for more positive cues now to extend their equity exposure.

“There are challenges in the near-term such as persisting conflict in the Middle East and worries over delay in the US Fed rate cut, which could dampen investors’ sentiment going ahead,” said Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

Among the Sensex firms, HDFC Bank fell by over 8 per cent after the company’s December quarter earnings failed to impress investors.

Tata Steel, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, JSW Steel, Bajaj Finserv, State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank were among the other major laggards.

HCL Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Titan, Nestle and PowerGrid were the gainers.

“Domestic equities plunged amid a weak environment globally and a selloff in HDFC Bank. Banking sector took the biggest hit as Q3 results of HDFC Bank showed stagnant growth for the company. Hawkish Fed commentary, escalating tension in the Middle East, and a spike in bond yield dented investor sentiment,” said Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong settled lower.

European markets were also trading with sharp cuts. The US markets ended in negative territory on Tuesday.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge fell by 1.09 per cent and smallcap index declined 0.90 per cent.

Among the indices, bankex tumbled 4.02 per cent, financial services fell by 3.76 per cent, metal (2.86 per cent), commodities (2.31 per cent), telecommunication (1.94 per cent) and realty (1.47 per cent).

IT, consumer durables and teck were the gainers.

As many as 2,510 stocks declined, while 1,301 advanced and 89 remained unchanged.  (PTI)


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