Sensex, Nifty suffer 4th straight loss as Ukraine crisis simmers

Persistent foreign fund outflows added to the gloom, traders said

Sensex (PTI)
Sensex (PTI)


Domestic equity gauges Sensex and Nifty logged their fourth straight session of fall on Monday as participants remained cautious over lingering geopolitical tensions in eastern Europe.

Persistent foreign fund outflows added to the gloom, traders said.

Tracking deep losses in other Asian bourses, the BSE Sensex dived around 700 points in the opening session but staged a recovery to briefly trade in the positive zone as market jitters were calmed by hopes of talks between the US and Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

However, it wilted under selling pressure in the afternoon session to settle at 57,683.59, down 149.38 points or 0.26 per cent. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 69.65 points or 0.40 per cent to close at 17,206.65.

Of the 30 Sensex constituents, 21 shares ended in the red, with Sun Pharma, TCS, ITC, Tech Mahindra, UltraTech Cement and Titan dropping up to 2.39 per cent.

In contrast, Wipro, Infosys, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Maruti were among the major gainers, spurting as much as 1.45 per cent.

"Domestic indices started weak, taking cues from negative global peers but in between recouped most of its losses on reports of likely meeting between Biden and Putin over the Ukraine issue. However, the market could not stretch the direction and turned negative as uncertainty in the global markets continued.

"Investors stood on the sidelines, impacting volumes. The market is expected to be volatile due to the upcoming Fed meeting and state election results," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd, said markets are in wait and watch mode in line with global peers and closely monitoring the Russia-Ukraine crisis for cues.

"Meanwhile, the volatile swings in the index combined with the selling in broader markets are making traders' life difficult. We thus recommend limiting positions and keeping the existing hedged until the markets stabilise," he noted.

Sectorally, BSE oil and gas, metal, basic materials, realty and healthcare lost as much as 2.18 per cent.

Of the 19 sectoral indices, barring banking, all closed with losses.

The BSE smallcap index tumbled 2.20 per cent, midcap fell 0.80 per cent and largecap slipped 0.59 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses ended lower but pared deep losses suffered in their opening session on reports of a likely meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden has agreed "in principle" to a meeting with Putin as long as that country holds off on what US officials believe is an imminent assault on Ukraine.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has been clear that "we are committed to pursuing diplomacy until the moment an invasion begins."

Bourses in Europe were trading in the negative territory in the afternoon session.

Crude oil benchmark Brent was trading lower at USD 91.43 per barrel.

On the forex market front, the rupee closed 11 paise higher at 74.55 against the US dollar on Monday.

Continuing their selling spree, foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 2,529.96 crore in the Indian capital markets on Friday, exchange data showed.

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