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24 September 2017, 12:54 | Lionel James
BSE building in Mumbai
A likely United States rate hike can potentially drive away foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India.
Key equity benchmarks remained depressed, with Sensex dropping almost 350 points and Nifty shedding over 120 points to touch 9,992.
"Domestic markets became nervous after the US Federal Reserve outlined plans to unwind its $4.2 trillion balance sheet starting next month", D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS. "Investors are also fretting on the impact on fiscal deficit targets if the government were to go overdrive with economic revival plans".
Weighed down by banking stocks, the 30-share BSE Sensex opened lower and fell further before settling down by 447.60 points, or 1.38 per cent - its biggest single-day fall since November 15 a year ago - at 31,922.44.
The Nifty started the week at 10,133.10 and marked new life highs at 10,178.95 and a low of 9,952.80.
Global investor sentiment was subdued after North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean and escalated a war of words with US President Donald Trump. The weakness in the equities was also felt in the forex market with the rupee hitting a low of 65.11, a level last seen on April 5 amidst concern regarding India's fiscal deficit.
Reuters late Thursday reported that the additional spending was estimated to widen the fiscal deficit for the financial year ending March to 3.7% of the GDP from a budgeted aim of 3.2%.
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In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index tanked by 2.71 per cent and the small-cap index by 2.93 per cent.
The rupee today dropped by 31 paise to a four-month low level of 65.12 against the U.S. dollar on frenetic dollar demand from importers and banks.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,204.95 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 72 paise to close the week at 64.80 to a USA dollar from its previous week's close at 64.08.
However, the rupee recovered in the intra-day trade to end the day at 64.79 per dollar. Banks and index heavyweights Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro led the declines on Friday.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Wipro, up one per cent at Rs 294.05, and Coal India, up 0.12 per cent at Rs 253.90.
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