Sensex Falls 216 Points, Nifty Below 18,600 As RBI Lowers Growth Forecast

Sensex Falls 216 Points, Nifty Below 18,600 As RBI Lowers Growth Forecast

The two equity benchmarks, Sensex and Nifty, closed in the red on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked repo rate by 35 bps to 6.25 per cent. This is the fourth straight day that the indices lost their momentum and ended up in the negative zone.

The central bank lowered its estimate of GDP growth to 6.8 per cent in the fiscal ending March 31, 2023, from an earlier forecast of 7 per cent. Although RBI sees the Indian economy as a bright spot in the otherwise gloomy world. It has kept the inflation forecast unchanged at 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal and projected it to come below the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.

The BSE Sensex declined 216 points (0.34 per cent) to close at 62,411, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 82 points (0.44 per cent) to end at 18,560. 

On the 30-share Sensex platform, NTPC, Bajaj Finserv, Indusland Bank, Tata Steel, Reliance, and Sun Pharma were among the major losers. On the flip side, Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Larsen & Toubro, Axis Bank, ITC, and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the winners.

The broader market also ended in red, with the BSE Midcap gauge settling 0.41 per cent lower and Smallcap index declining 0.44 per cent.

Among sectorial indices, FMCG remained strong throughout the session and gained 1 per cent. PSU Bank remained volatile but ended in the green. Realty, Media, and Consumer Durables shed more than a per cent.

In the previous session, the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 62,626, down 208 points, while the broader NSE Nifty50 ended at 18,643, down 58 points.

Asian markets ended in red on Wednesday with investors nervous about fears of a recession picking up steam. Japan’s Nikkei share average touched a four-week low on Wednesday. The Nikkei ended the day at 0.72 per cent. In Mainland China and Hong Kong stocks fell even as Beijing is scaling back its “zero-Covid” policies. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 2.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4 per cent. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with gains in mid-session deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.56 per cent to $78.11 per barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in capital markets as they offloaded shares worth Rs 635.35 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

Meanwhile, the rupee pared initial losses and settled marginally higher at 82.47 against the US dollar on Wednesday after the RBI hiked the key repo rate. Easing crude oil prices also supported the domestic unit, forex traders said.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local unit opened at 82.74 and touched an intra-day high of 82.40 and a low of 82.75 against the greenback. The local unit finally settled at 82.47, registering a rise of 3 paise over its previous close of 82.50.

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