Sensex, Nifty Suffer Worst Week In Over Two Years, Underscoring Gloom

Benchmark equity indices extended their fall for the sixth straight session on Friday, marking their worst week in over two years.

Sensex, Nifty Suffer Worst Week In Over Two Years, Underscoring Gloom

Indian stock indices endure their worst week since May 2020

Benchmark equity indices extended their fall for the sixth straight session on Friday, marking their worst week in over two years, tracking World stocks headed for their weakest performance this week since the markets' pandemic meltdown in March 2020.

After a week of punchy moves across asset classes, the 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex and the broader NSE Nifty suffered their worst week since May 2020 as leading central banks have doubled down on tighter policy to tame runaway inflation. 

Both touched more than one-year lows in their sixth straight session of losses, with the blue-chip indexes logging losses of around 5.5 per cent each for the week.

The Sensex fell 135.57 points, or 0.26 per cent to end Friday at 51,360.42 and the Nifty closed out the week at 15,293.50, down 0.44 per cent on the day.

From the Sensex pack, Titan, Wipro, Dr Reddy's, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Larsen & Toubro, UltraTech Cement, Maruti, TCS and Hindustan Unilever were the biggest laggards.

Titan Company was the biggest percentage loser on the Nifty, slumping 6 per cent in its worst day in more than two years.

Only nine of the 30 scrips that are part of the Sensex closed in the positive.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank were among the gainers.

Shares of India's largest company, Reliance Industries, ended 1.2 per cent higher after business channel ET Now reported that the company was considering buying out bankrupt cosmetics giant Revlon Inc in the United States.

Sugar manufacturers' shares fell between 1 per cent and 6 per cent after Reuters reported India was likely to impose a ceiling on sugar exports from October to ensure ample domestic supplies and keep a lid on local prices.

"The dominant theme impacting equity markets globally is the synchronised global monetary tightening and the consequent fears of economic slowdown," V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, told PTI.

Investors have remained on the edge about future economic growth on a hike in global borrowing rates.

The biggest US rate rise since 1994, the first such Swiss move in 15 years, the fifth rise in British rates since December and a move by the European Central Bank to bolster the indebted south ahead of future rises all took turns in roiling markets.

Underscoring that gloom, world stocks were flat on Friday to take weekly losses to 5.5 per cent and leave the index on course for the steepest weekly percentage drop in more than two years.

Data from analysts at Bank of America showed more than 88 per cent of the stock indexes it tracks are trading below their 50-day and 200-day moving average, leading markets "painfully oversold".

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell to a five-week low, dragged by selling in Australia. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.8 per cent and headed for a weekly drop of almost 7 per cent.

While US S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were up over 1 per cent, they remain well underwater for the week.

"The more aggressive line by central banks adds to headwinds for both economic growth and equities," Mark Haefele, Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, told Reuters.

"The risks of a recession are rising while achieving a soft landing for the US economy appears increasingly challenging."

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