Rate hike, Europe drive Sensex below 18,000

Rate hike, Europe drive Sensex below 18,000

Mumbai: Indian markets slumped on concerns that intensifying problems in Greece might escalate into a larger debt crisis in the European region. Stock markets in Europe fell to a three-month low on speculation that realignment in the Greece government might disrupt fiscal reforms and asset sales.

While this led to a selling in information technology stocks, the hike in policy rates by the Reserve Bank of India weighed on investor sentiment. With inflationary pressures persistently remaining high, India’s central bank raised interest rates for the tenth time since March 2010. Read more...

Sensex: 17,985 –0.81%

Nifty: 5,396 –0.93%

FTSE 100: 5,669 –1.28%

Stoxx 50: 2,699 –1.17%

Cement, information technology and metal stocks led the losses in the Nifty 50. Ambuja Cements and ACC slumped more than 3.4% on concerns that a slowing economy will reduce demand for cement.

Ambuja Cement: 124 –5.42%

IDFC: 120 –4.12%

ACC: 955 –3.49%

Reliance Industries fell to a new-year low of 855 in intra-day deals. HSBC downgraded the stock to neutral on concerns that the ongoing controversy over a CAG report could hamper Reliance’s ability to carry out exploration activities effectively. The CAG report has alleged that Reliance inflated development costs on its D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari basin.

Reliance Industries: 886 –1.61%

On the sectoral level, information technology, capital goods and metal stocks led the losses on the BSE.

BSE IT: 5,934 –1.66%

BSE Capital Goods: 13,196 –1.35%

BSE Metal: 14,456 –1.17%

The intensifying crisis in European region led to a selling in information technology stocks. After the US, Europe is the biggest market for the Indian software companies. Renewed slowdown in the region is expected to hit business prospects of the Indian software companies.

TCS: 1,150 –2.89%

HCL Technologies: 488 –2.08%

Wipro: 416 –1.98%

Infosys Technologies: 2,800 –1.26%

Overall, it has been a bad day for Indian stock markets. About six-tenths of the stocks traded on the BSE closed the day with losses.