Benchmark equity indices crashed for the fifth straight day after opening sharply higher on Thursday, underscoring investors’ differing views on the US Federal Reserve’s biggest rate hike since 1994 and its impact on the global economy.
After rebounding sharply to open in the green earlier, carrying momentum from a global equities rally overnight, the 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex closed 1045.60 points, or 1.99 per cent lower at 51,495.79, and the broader NSE Nifty was down 331.55 points, or 2.11 per cent to 15,360.60.
For both the benchmark indices, the latest was the lowest close in over a year.
On Wednesday, the Sensex had closed at 52,541.39 and the NSE ended at 15,692.15 points.
Across-the-board selling played havoc on the headline indices, with index majors Reliance Industries and HDFC twins contributing most to the decline.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, Wipro, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Mahindra Bank and NTPC were the biggest laggards. Nestle India was the only gainer.
Markets had anticipated the Fed’s 75 basis point hike on Wednesday and priced in several more after a surprisingly hot inflation reading last week.
But the dollar lurched lower and global equities rallied after Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference before pausing during Asia trade.
While global risk assets rallied overnight after the US policy decision, the initial relief that the Fed did not go further than expected in hiking rates began to fade in the face of an aggressive outlook.