BSE Sensex fell over 200 points while Nifty settled below 9,200 level on Friday amid weakness in global markets after US launched cruise missiles on a Syrian air base, potentially escalating geopolitical tensions. US President Donald Trump took the toughest direct US action yet in Syria's six-year-old civil war, raising the risk of confrontation. The Sensex fell as much as 258 points at its day's low and Nifty fell to intraday low of 9,188. In Asian markets, bonds, the yen and gold jumped in Asia on Friday, while stocks slipped, as investors turned to safe-haven assets.
The Sensex ended 221 points lower at 29,707 and Nifty declined 64 points to close at 9,198.
Global oil prices surged more than 2 per cent to a one-month high on Friday after the US missile strikes. PK Basu, an economist, said that he does not see crude oil prices surging too much. "I don't see crude oil prices surging too much. Syria is not a significant producer of oil," he said.
For domestic equity investors who have missed the rally over the past few months, this is a good opportunity to buy on declines, said Sajiv Dhawan of JV Capital Services. "If you are optimistic that the Syria situation will blow over soon, it is a good time to buy," he said.
Mr Dhawan attributed the weakness in today's market to "nervousness" due to the geopolitical situation. He said the trend of the Nifty, which has been hitting new highs over the past few sessions, is not broken yet. "Domestically everything is fine. Markets were inching up to new highs," he said.
Mr Dhawan likes Reliance Industries and NBFC stocks such as M&M Financial Services and Dewan Housing Finance. He also is positive on Tata Chemicals. Mr Dhawan however remains cautious on IT and pharma stocks.
He also remains cautious on midcaps, saying if earnings disappoint they could face a bigger correction than largecaps.
Sumeet Bagadia, associate director of Choice Broking, said Nifty is likely to attract support at lower levels. If Nifty breaks 9,200 on a closing basis, it could fall 100-150 points, he added. On the upside, Nifty has resistance at 9300 and if it is taken out, the index could head to 9500 levels, he added.