Sensex Drops Over 300 Points, Nifty Below 18,100; Metal, PSU Banks Worst Hit

ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys, Axis Bank, Titan, ITC and Tata Steel were among the biggest drags on the Sensex.

Sensex Drops Over 300 Points, Nifty Below 18,100; Metal, PSU Banks Worst Hit

The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower on Thursday ahead of the monthly expiry of October futures and option contracts amid weak cues from global markets. ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys, Axis Bank, Titan, ITC and Tata Steel were among the biggest drags on the Sensex. The Sensex fell as much as 266 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 18,127.85. Global stocks eased from record peaks as a stark reminder of supply chain snags in corporate earnings reports stalled their rally, while investors also looked to whether central banks may consider tightening monetary policy earlier than thought.

MSCI's gauge of world stocks, ACWI, dipped 0.05 per cent in early Thursday trade, with Japan's Nikkei leading the loss with fall of 1.1 per cent.

Mainland Chinese shares slipped 0.2 per cent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked down 0.1 per cent.

On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 lost 0.51 per cent from all-time high hit on Tuesday though the Nasdaq ended little changed, thanks to strong earnings from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet.

Back home, selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's 2.5 per cent fall.

Realty, metal, media, financial services and bank indices also fell between 0.6-2 per cent.

Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 0.43 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 0.38 per cent.

Adani Ports was top Nifty loser, the stock fell nearly 5 per cent to Rs 711 after its net profit declined 31 per cent to Rs 952 crore in September quarter. Titan and ITC were also among the losers after reporting their September quarter earnings. ONGC, Coal India, Hindalco, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Tata Motors, HDFC, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, Power Grid and Axis Bank were also among the laggards in the Nifty 50 basket of shares.

On the flipside, IndusInd Bank and Larsen & Toubro were among the top Nifty gainers after they reported better than expected September quarter earnings after market hours on Wednesday.

UltraTech Cemnt, Britannia, Divi's Labs, Bajaj Finance, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Nestle India, Bajaj Finserv and SBI Life were also among the gainers.

The overall market breadth was negative as 1,712 shares were advancing while 988 were declining on the BSE.

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