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Sensex, Nifty fall as emerging markets rattled by geo-political tensions

Traders said cautious investors lapped up select blue-chips ahead of IIP and CPI inflation data scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

business Updated: Apr 10, 2017 16:11 IST
Raj Kumar Ray
A man looks at a screen across a road displaying the Sensex on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai.(File Photo)

Indian shares plunged on Monday as growing geo-political tension in Middle East and Korean peninsula rattled investors and led to sell off in emerging markets.

The Sensex opened higher and gained 125 points in early trade, but slipped into the red as the day went on. The benchmark ended down 131 points or 0.44% at 29,575.74. The Nifty also closed down 0.22% at 9,181.45 after breaching the 9,200-level in early trade.

There are also a set of key macroeconomic data -- IIP for February and CPI inflation for March -- due this week, which made investors cautious.

Tensions around the Middle East and the Korean peninsula send jitters across emerging markets with stocks extending losses for a third day and currencies weakening against the dollar.

Investors have grown increasingly nervous after last week’s US attack on a Syrian air base which Russia and Iran said had crossed a “red line”, though top aides of President Donald Trump aired differing views on where Washington’s policy was heading.

Washington also looks likely to flex its muscles over North Korea’s advancing weapons program, moving a US Navy strike group toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula.

Emerging stocks fell 0.5% to hit a near-four-week low in their third straight day of losses. The index was dragged lower by hefty losses in Russia, where dollar-denominated stocks tumbled 1.7%, while South Korea’s KOSPI index shed nearly 1%.

Indian IT heavyweight Infosys will kick off the earnings season as it gets ready to announce results on Thursday.

The key benchmark indices had slipped into the red for a brief while, but shaped up thereafter.

Oil and gas, energy and metal made most of sustained buying, but realty stocks lost out.

Broader markets stayed ahead of the Sensex as small-cap and mid-cap indices rose 0.78% and 0.53%, respectively.

Major gainers include Coal India 1.37%, Tata Motors 1.11% and Axis Bank 0.89%.

The notable losers are HDFC, Asian Paints and M&M.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 262.37 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 414.94 crore.

Asian stocks were mixed as caution prevailed after increased geo-political risks pushed investors to government debt.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Apr 10, 2017 10:45 IST