Indian stock benchmarks on Wednesday extended their decline for the third straight session, dragged down by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services and HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank). Domestic indices plunged, reversing gains from earlier in the session, driven by a rebound in crude oil prices back above $100 a barrel.
Brent oil had fallen $7 on Tuesday, falling below $100 a barrel for the first time in three months.
India’s curse has been supply-driven price pressures for years, and a rise in crude prices is fueling imported inflation, as the country depends on foreign energy for more than 80 percent of its needs and is also the world’s third-largest buyer.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 372 points, or 0.69 percent, to close at 53,514, while the broader NSE Nifty slid 92 points, or 0.57 percent, to settle at 15,967.
However, mid and small cap stocks ended positively as Nifty Midcap 100 rose 0.16 percent and small cap 0.22 percent.
Seven of the 15 sector meters – compiled by the National Stock Exchange – ended in the red. Sub-indexes Nifty Oil & Gas, Nifty Private Bank and Nifty Financial Services underperformed the NSE platform by falling as much as 1.32 percent, 1.05 percent and 0.97 percent.
However, Nifty Pharma and Nifty FMCG were up 1.38 percent and 0.94 percent each.
On the stock-specific front, IndusInd Bank was the biggest loser as the stock cracked 3.13 percent to Rs 820.50. HDFC twins, Bharti Airtel and Reliance were also among those left behind.
Overall market size was slightly positive: 1,687 stocks advanced and 1,637 fell on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, IndusInd Bank, Airtel, HDFC twins, RIL, TCS, Titan, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, M&M and Tech Mahindra were among the biggest losers with a loss of a whopping 3.42 percent .
By contrast, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Sun Pharma, NTPC, Nestle India, UltraTech Cement, ITC, Infosys, SBI, Axis Bank and PowerGrid finished in green.
Furthermore, shares of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country’s largest insurer and largest domestic financial investor, rose 0.24 percent to Rs 719.
On the global front, investors will now focus on the US consumer price index expected later in the day to gauge the course of Federal Reserve rate hikes.