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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  Market close: Nifty 50, Sensex fall on Israel-Hamas war escalation jitters; investors lose over 2 lakh crore in a day

Market close: Nifty 50, Sensex fall on Israel-Hamas war escalation jitters; investors lose over ₹2 lakh crore in a day

Nifty 50 closed with a loss of 140 points, or 0.71 per cent at 19,671.10 while the Sensex ended the day at 65,877.02, down 551 points, or 0.83 per cent.

Nifty 50 fell over half a per cent in intraday trade on Wednesday, October 18. (Agencies)Premium
Nifty 50 fell over half a per cent in intraday trade on Wednesday, October 18. (Agencies)

Nifty 50 today: The domestic market witnessed significant selling pressure on Wednesday, October 18, which made the benchmarks the Sensex and the Nifty 50 conclude the day in negative territory. This downturn could be attributed to growing concerns about an escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Concerns are growing that the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict may escalate into a larger regional crisis, potentially involving other nations. Such a development could lead to an increase in crude oil prices due to disruptions in production and supply. This, in turn, might impede efforts to curb inflation and even have ramifications for global economic growth.

"Whether this conflict remains limited to a confrontation between Hamas and Israel or escalates into a broader regional conflict involving Iran's proxy armed groups, notably Hezbollah, will have significant implications," Reuters quoted Hamza Meddeb, director of the political economy programme at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, saying so.

Apart from the Israel-Hamas war, investors also keep an eye on Q2 earnings and macroeconomic indicators.

Nifty 50 today opened at 19,820.45 against the previous close of 19,811.50 and touched its intraday high and low of 19,840.95 and 19,659.95 respectively. The index closed with a loss of 140 points, or 0.71 per cent at 19,671.10.

The Sensex opened at 66,473.74 against the previous close of 66,428.09 and touched its intraday high and low of 66,475.27 and 65,842.10 respectively. It ended the day at 65,877.02, down 551 points, or 0.83 per cent.

The BSE Midcap index fell 0.85 per cent while the Smallcap index ended with a loss of 0.32 per cent.

The overall market capitalisation of the firms listed on the BSE dropped to nearly 321.4 lakh crore from 323.8 lakh crore in the previous session, making investors poorer by about 2.4 lakh crore in a single session.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices surged about 3 per cent as fears of an escalation of the Israel-Hamas war grew after a blast at a Gaza hospital which killed hundreds. Brent Crude traded 2.67 per cent higher at $92.30 per barrel around 3:55 pm.

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Top Nifty 50 gainers today

Shares of Cipla (up 3.50 per cent), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (up 2.18 per cent) and Tata Motors (up 1.76 per cent) ended as the top gainers in the Nifty 50 index.

Top Nifty 50 losers today

Shares of Bajaj Finance (down 2.95 per cent), Bajaj Finserv (down 1.85 per cent) and NTPC (down 1.46 per cent) ended as the top losers in the Nifty 50 index.

As many as 39 stocks ended in the red in the Nifty index while the remaining 11 closed with gains.

Sectoral indices today

Among the sectoral indices, Nifty Bank (down 1.17 per cent), Financial Services (down 1.28 per cent), PSU Bank (down 1.67 per cent) and Private Bank (down 1.17 per cent) closed over a per cent lower each.

Barring Nifty Pharma (up 0.78 per cent), Healthcare (up 0.43 per cent), Media (up 0.27 per cent) and Auto (up 0.08 per cent), all sectoral indices ended in the red.

Experts' views on markets

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services pointed out that profit booking ensued in Indian markets, spurred by weak global sentiments and escalating Middle East tensions.

"A sudden rise in the tension has led to instability in energy prices; Brent prices rapidly rose above $92.5 by the day’s closing time. While the US bond yields were cautiously placed, awaiting the Fed chair’s speech. The initial Q2 earnings disappointments by the IT and financials sector may have prompted attention in the domestic markets. All these factors are presumed to be a knee-jerk reaction as the total outlook on the domestic market is stable, underpinned by healthy Q2 result forecast and favourable fiscal position," said Nair.

Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities observed that geopolitical tensions in the Middle East due to the raging war between Israel and Hamas spooked Indian markets as investors turned risk-off and hammered stocks at will.

"The market is more concerned about surging crude oil prices as this could hurt inflation and may lead to interest rates remaining higher in the near to medium term. Already the market is facing FII money exodus from the domestic market and re-routing the funds into safe-haven assets like gold and the US dollar," said Chouhan.

Technical views on Nifty 50

Chouhan said the Nifty faced resistance near 19,850 and corrected sharply. It formed a double top formation on daily and intraday charts and a bearish candle on daily charts, which indicates further weakness from the current levels.

"As long as the index is trading below 19,800, the weak sentiment is likely to continue and could slip till 19,600-19,575. On the other hand, a minor pullback rally is possible if the index surpasses the intraday resistance of 19,720, and above the same, we could see one quick intraday rally till 19,780," said Chouhan.

Jatin Gedia, Technical Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas said on the daily charts, the Nifty faced resistance at around the 61.82 per cent Fibonacci retracement level (19,850 – 19,885).

He added that on account of the correction, the Nifty has now reached the zone of 19,670 – 19,640 where support in the form of 20- and 40-day moving averages are placed. Bollinger bands are contracting, indicating that consolidation is likely over the next few trading sessions. In terms of levels, 19,640 – 19,600 should act as a crucial support and 19,770 – 19,800 is an immediate hurdle zone for the index, said Gedia.

Read all market-related news here

Disclaimer: The views and recommendations above are those of individual analysts, experts and broking companies, not of Mint. We advise investors to check with certified experts before making any investment decisions.


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Published: 18 Oct 2023, 03:31 PM IST
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