Sensex falls to over 3-1/2 month lows on uncertainty over US election outcome

Our Bureau Agencies Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 03, 2016


The Sensex and Nifty fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday to hit more than 3-1/2 month lows, as investor sentiment remained weak over uncertainties about the outcome of the US elections next week.

US politics overshadowed the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting where it kept rates steady as expected and opened the door a little wider to a rate rise next month.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex closed lower by 96.94 points or 0.35 per cent at 27,430.28 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty ended down 29.05 points or 0.34 per cent at 8,484.95.

Barring FMCG, all other BSE sectoral indices ended in the red. Among them, oil & gas index fell the most by 1.83 per cent, PSU 1.75 per cent, infrastructure 1.64 per cent and realty 1.29 per cent, while FMCG index was up 0.13 per cent.

Top five Sensex gainers were Hero MotoCorp (+1.66%),ITC (+1.29%), Dr Reddy's (+0.71%), TCS (+0.67%) and HDFC Bank (+0.56%), while the major losers were Adani Ports (-3.92%), ONGC (-3.53%), Tata Steel (-2.5%), Asian Paints (-2.36%) and State Bank of India (-2.25%).

Asian shares were lower and the S&P 500 suffered its longest losing streak in five years on Wednesday, in a reflection of the worsening risk appetite.

Foreign investors have been net sellers in India for eight consecutive sessions as of Tuesday, including in a special trading session on Sunday to mark the beginning of the Hindu new year, unloading a net total of $703.8 million worth of shares during that period.

“One of the reasons for the volatility is market participants' expectations from the US elections,” said Jay Shankar, Chief India Economist & Director, Religare Capital Markets, adding that the Fed's decision and commentary on Wednesday also weighed on the mood.

Global markets

Asian shares joined the US dollar on the defensive on Thursday as the nail-biting US presidential race saw the S&P 500 suffer its longest losing streak in five years as investors sailed to safer harbours.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 per cent, while South Korea eased 0.2 per cent. Shanghai added 0.3 per cent.

Global equity prices and the dollar slid for the second straight day on Wednesday, while safe-haven assets such as gold rallied as investors shunned risk in response to signs the US presidential race was tightening just days before the vote.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77.46 points, or 0.43 per cent, to close at 17,959.64, the S&P 500 lost 13.78 points, or 0.65 per cent, to finish at 2,097.94 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.01 points, or 0.93 per cent, to end at 5,105.57.

Published on November 03, 2016
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