The benchmark BSE Sensex on Monday fell 233 points, or 1.2%, to 18,540 — the lowest close in more than two months — and NSE’s Nifty plunged below 5,600, as foreign funds pulled more funds out of the market, taking the rupee to a new record low of 59.68 against the US dollar. The Sensex has lost about 6% in value since early May.
While experts said the worst may not be over, they also signalled this could be a great time to buy stocks for those with a two-to-three year horizon.
Around Rs. 110,000 crore in investor wealth was lost in Monday’s plunge. FIIs have pulled out $1.3 billion (R7,760 crore) in the last nine sessions.
Selling was seen across-the-board as all 13 sectoral indices lost anything between 0.9% and 4.8%. Realty, consumer durables and capital good suffered the most. Among the Sensex stocks, 24 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower.
Monday’s falls also tracked global shares on worries about China’s economic and financial stability and the continued fallout from expectations that the US Federal Reserve will roll back its monetary stimulus to revive growth later this year.
The broader NSE Nifty fell 1.4%, or 77 points, to 5,590.
“A weakness in the rupee and selling of about $1 billion worth of equities by FIIs caused the panic,” said G Chokkalingam, executive director, Centrum Wealth Management.
Going forward, only reform measures undertaken by the government will likely stem the fall, said experts.
“Markets will move up sustainably once the government initiatives start coming in, especially for infrastructure,” said Dipen Shah, head, private client research group, Kotak Securities.
“While markets have corrected 10% from recent highs, we do not see selling pressure subside in the near-term,” said Tirthankar Patnaik, chief economist, Religare Capital Markets.
Experts see room for volatility, but advise systematic investment with the long term in mind.
“My advice is to be contrarian in nature,” said Nitin Jain, head, retail capital markets, Edelweiss Financial Services. “Invest systematically in quality stocks available at reasonable price.”
“The retail investors should avoid highly leveraged companies,” said Chokkalingam, referring to those with high borrowings.”