New Delhi: The key equity benchmarks — Sensex and Nifty — edged lower in early morning trade on Wednesday led by losses in index majors Infosys, TCS, and HDFC amid a mixed trend in global markets.
The 30-share index slumped 270 points (0.47 per cent) to 57,846 in the opening trade, while the Nifty dropped 78 points (0.45 per cent) to 17,246 points.
Tech Mahindra was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 1 per cent, followed by Infosys, TCS, Bajaj Finance, and HCL Tech.
On the other hand, NTPC, Kotak Bank, PowerGrid, M&M, and Axis Bank were among the top gainers during the first hour of the trade.
In the previous session, the 30-share equity benchmark declined 166.33 points or 0.29 per cent to end at 58,117.09, and Nifty fell 43.35 points or 0.25 per cent to 17,324.90.
Losses in IT, pharma and FMCG shares pulled the headline indices lower, though gains in metal, auto and select financial stocks lent some support. The Nifty Smallcap 100 index was up 0.2 per cent but its midcap counterpart flat. HP Adhesives’ IPO to raise Rs 126 crore opened for subscription.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 763.18 crore on Tuesday, according to stock exchange data.
The Omicron variant, now in 77 countries, is confirmed to be far more infectious than the now dominant Delta variant. But there is no clarity yet on how virulent Omicron would turn out, said VK Vijayakumar, Chief investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
“In the coming days markets are likely to be impacted more by the message from the US Fed. If the Fed turns more hawkish and indicates 2 rate hikes in 2022, that would be negative for the markets which had factored in one rate hike and faster tapering of the asset purchases. But the Fed is unlikely to sound hawkish in the context of the uncertainty triggered by Omicron. Markets are likely to consolidate around 17,350 Nifty levels,” he said.
Meanwhile, digital payments and financial services firm Paytm posted its shares plunged over 13 per cent as a lock-in period for the company’s institutional investors ended on Wednesday, piling on more pressure. Paytm stock was trading at ₹1,269 early on Wednesday, compared to the offer price of ₹2,150.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong were trading with gains in mid-session deals, while Seoul was in the red.
Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a negative note in the overnight session.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.95 per cent to $73 per barrel.
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