Sensex slumps 549 factors on profit-taking; posts weekly achieve

Mumbai, January 15

Equity indices sank deep into the red on Friday as concerns over stretched valuations and a bearish trend in global markets triggered across-the-board selling.

Investors preferred to book profits at higher levels despite a good start to the earnings season, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex slumped 549.49 points or 1.11 per cent to finish at 49,034.67. The broader NSE Nifty tumbled 161.90 points or 1.11 per cent to 14,433.70.

Tech Mahindra was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.35 per cent, followed by HCL Tech, ONGC, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, HDFC and HUL.

Only four Sensex components closed with gains—Bharti Airtel, ITC, Bajaj Auto and Bajaj Finance, spurting up to 3.84 per cent.

During the week, the Sensex advanced 252.16 points or 0.51 per cent, while the Nifty rose 86.45 points or 0.60 per cent.

Global equities were on the backfoot on Friday even as US President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his widely-anticipated USD 1.9 trillion stimulus package as investors fretted over possible tax hikes and higher interest rates.

“Markets began circumspect amidst weak job data in the US even as Joe Biden unveiled details of the USD 1.9 trillion rescue package. Friday’s afternoon trade saw profit taking in IT stocks despite the biggies putting out positive commentary with large deal wins as MCAP to GDP crossed 100 per cent, leading to volatility,” said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

Sector-wise, BSE oil and gas, IT, realty, capital goods, utilities, energy, power and consumer durables indices fell up to 2.43 per cent, while telecom rallied 3.68 per cent.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices skidded up to 1.25 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended on a positive note, while Seoul and Tokyo were in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading in the negative territory in early deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.77 per cent lower at USD 55.42 per barrel.

The rupee snapped its three-session winning streak and closed 3 paise lower at 73.07 against the US dollar.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market, purchasing shares worth Rs 1,076.62 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data. PTI

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