Stocks, rupee bear brunt of US-India trade tiff

Stocks, rupee bear brunt of US-India trade tiff

MUMBAI: Equity benchmark Sensex Monday crashed over 491 points, piling on losses for a fourth session in a row, and the rupee weakened further as trade tariff disagreements between India and the US spooked investors.

The NSE gauge Nifty also slipped over 151 points to close below the 11,700-mark.

Besides, fresh geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and concerns over the advancement of monsoon also unnerved market participants.

The Indian rupee Monday fell by another 11 paise to close at 69.91 to the the US currency, its third straight-session loss.

The domestic currency has lost 57 paise in the last three sessions.

The BSE gauge settled 491.28 points, or 1.25 per cent, lower at 38,960.79. The index hit an intra-day low of 38,911.49 and a high of 39,540.42.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty cracked 151.15 points, or 1.28 per cent, to close at 11,672.15. During the day, the index touched a low of 11,657.75 and a high of 11,844.05.

Over the past four sessions, the Sensex has lost 796.02 points or 2 per cent.

Sectorally, BSE metal was the worst hit, losing over 3 per cent, while energy index fell over 2 per cent on Monday.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices followed benchmarks, dropping up to 1.35 per cent.

On the Sensex, Tata Steel emerged as the biggest loser with over 5 per cent fall. Other major laggards were Vedanta, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, ONGC, Sun Pharma, Maruti and L&T, falling as much as 3.33 per cent.

Bucking the weak market trend, Yes Bank, Coal India and Infosys rose.

India has effected a hike in customs duties on as many as 28 US products, including almond, pulses and walnut, in response to higher tariffs imposed by Washington on Indian products like steel and aluminium.

"Domestic market has been caught in a bearish grip as investors are increasingly turning cautious led by global trade war which has got murkier. Additionally, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East triggered a sudden spurt in oil prices. Domestic market consolidation will be maintained till global events unfolds like central bank and GST council meet this week,"said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated by 10 paise to close at 69.91 against the US dollar Monday.

Global oil benchmark, Brent crude futures fell 0.46 per cent lower at USD 61.76 per barrel.

"The rupee fell against the US dollar taking cue from other weak Asian currencies and widening Indian trade deficit for a third consecutive month," said V K Sharma, Head-PCG & Capital Market Strategy, HDFC Securities.

Sharma further said market participants are waiting for the monetary policy of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), Bank of England and Bank of Japan, scheduled this week.

Moreover, expectations of foreign fund outflows due to weak investor sentiment in equity market have also weighed on the rupee trading.

Asian markets Monday showed a mixed trading pattern, with Seoul stocks ended in the red, while bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo closed higher.

Exchanges in Europe were also trading in the green in early deals.

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