New Delhi: Markets posted their worst weekly loss in eight months tumbling to four-month closing lows in volatile trade on Friday, after accelerating monthly inflation cemented rate hike fears, sending financials lower.
Adding to investor’s gloom were disappointing results from software services bellwether Infosys Technologies over rising prices. Both the benchmark indices slumped to their lowest level last seen in November 2010 with the prospect of tighter monetary policy stance in the forthcoming policy review scheduled on 25 January.
Annual inflation rose significantly in the month of December, the wholesale price index (WPI) surged to 8.43% compared with 7.48% for the previous month.
Equities started the day on a flat note tracking weak global cues and disappointing results announced by likes of Infosys and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) that had reported a decline of more than 30% in its Q3.
In the early noon session, the markets recouped some of its losses on emergence of buying as investors felt a long spell of selling was overdone trade nosedived again over weak start of the European markets
The Bombay Stocks Exchange, sensex ended down 1.68% or 322.38 points, to 18,860.44 points, its lowest close since 9 September. It shed 4.2% for the week, its worst weekly fall since May 2010.
The 50-share NSE index or Nifty fell 1.7% to 5,654.55 points.
On the Sectoral front, worst among the bad were the stocks from the realty down by 3.22%, banking by 2.54%, metal by 2.78%, auto 2.19% and capital goods 1.95%. The stocks that were major laggards on the index were, Tata Motors, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Sterlite Industries and Bajaj Auto.
Meanwhile, Asian indices finished mostly in the negative terrain as US reported a disappointing jobless claims data which rose more than economists estimation. The sentiments were also weighed as mining companies fell after oil and metal prices retreated.
Tata Steel, the world’s seventh-largest steel maker, fell 2.5% to Rs 621.70, hurt by disappointing earnings from peers Steel Authority and POSCO, dealers said.
Earlier in the day, POSCO, the world’s No.3 steelmaker, posted a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit and warned it was struggling to pass on rising costs as floods in Australia disrupt raw material supplies.
Oil explorer Cairn India slipped 2.2% to Rs 335.65, on weak crude oil prices.
Reuters also contributed to the story