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Sensex Falls 188 pts, Nifty Settles Around 16,800 Ahead of RBI Policy Outcome; Metal, Pharma Rise

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Sensex Today: Equity markets settled lower after a volatile day on Thursday, the day of the monthly F&O (derivatives) expiry, as global cues remained unsupportive. At Close, Sensex was down 188.32 points or 0.33 per cent at 56,409.96, and the Nifty was down 40.50 points or 0.24 per cent at 16,818.10.

In the broader markets, the Nifty MidCap, and SmallCap indices added 0.4 per cent, and 0.6 per cent, respectively.

ITC, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, M&M, NTPC, and Nestle India were the top large-cap winners, while Abbott India, Jindal Steel, Escorts, tata Chemicals, SPARC, PVR, Suzlon Energy, and Allcargo Losgistics surged in the broader market space.

On the flipside, Asian Paints, Tech M, Wipro, TCS, Titan, Kotak Bank, Dr Lal Path Labs, Vodafone Idea, Deepak Nitrite, Zendar Technologies, and Intellect Design Arena tumbled in trade today.

Among sectors, the Nifty Pharma index gained 1.3 per cent, followed by the Nifty PSU Bank index (up 1.1 per cent). On the downside, the Nifty IT index fell 0.9 per cent.

While Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, SBI, ITC, Axis Bank, helped benchmark indices gain in trade; Asian Paints, Power Grid, TCS, Nestle India, weighed on the indices.
V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said: “When negative sentiments become dominant, the risk-off gathers momentum and markets get oversold. Then, usually, an unexpected trigger reverses the near-term outlook leading to short covering and a market rally. This was precisely what happened yesterday in global markets when the Bank of England surprised markets with Quantitative Easing. This desperate act by BoE is more a reflection of the economic woes of the UK. But the market’s interpretation of the BoE’s surprise decision is that the Fed might pause its rate hike to avert a sharp economic downturn. The relief rally is likely to soon run out of steam and, therefore, investors need not make aggressive buys now. The MPC is likely to raise rates by 50bps and may move to a neutral stance. But this is already discounted by the market and therefore will not have any market-moving impact.”

Global Cues

Asian share markets rose on Thursday after Britain’s central bank launched an emergency bond-buying programme to stabilise a furious sell-off in gilts, though trade was skittish and sterling remained under pressure.

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday extending gains on Wall Street, where investors were reassured by the Bank of England’s intervention that helped push bond yields lower. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.85 per cent, or 223.59 points, to 26,397.57, while the broader Topix index added 0.29 per cent, or 5.30 points, to 1,860.45.

Wall Street ended sharply higher on Wednesday following its recent sell-off, helped by falling Treasury yields, while Apple dropped on concerns about demand for iPhones. The S&P 500 recorded its first gain in seven sessions after closing on Tuesday at its lowest since late 2020.

Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Thursday as a strong dollar and economic woes outweighed optimism over consumer demand. Brent crude futures fell 59 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $88.73 per barrel by 0016 GMT while U.S. crude futures fell by 54 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $81.59. Both benchmarks rebounded in the prior two sessions amid volatile trade after reaching nine-month lows this week.

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