Sensex crash today: Rs 4 lakh crore investor wealth wiped off: Key factors behind Sensex crash today

NEW DELHI: In yet another disappointing week for D-Street investors, benchmark indices fell over 1.5 per cent on Friday with Nifty closing below 16,500 on worries over interest rate hikes.

At close, the Sensex was down 866.65 points or 1.56 per cent at 54,835.58, and the Nifty was down 271.40 points or 1.63 per cent at 16,411.30. This is the worst week in over five months for Sensex and Nifty since the week ended November 26, 2021.

Domestic stocks lost nearly Rs 4 lakh crore in value, led by heavy selling across the board.

“A steep crash in the US stocks as the market evaluated the need for a higher rate hike to tame elevated inflation levels wounded global markets with heavy selling,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

The weakness in the market was such that six stocks fell for every rising stock.

The Bank of England while raising its interest rates, warned about a possible risk of recession, aggravating investor fears. This period of volatility is the time for smart money to look for opportunities with buy-in-dip as the strategy with a focus on sectors that are expected to be least impacted by inflation and yield rise, Nair added.

Over the week, the stock benchmarks fell 4%. This is also the fourth straight week of decline for the two measures. The market breadth was skewed in the favor of bears. About 838 stocks advanced, 2,516 declined and 106 remained unchanged.

Infosys, HDFC twins biggest contributors to Sensex decline. Bajaj twins, Axis Bank, Nestle, Wipro, Divis Lab, Shree Cement and UPL were the top losers today, while Hero MotoCorp, Tech Mahindra, Power Grid Corp, ITC, SBI and ONGC managed to settle with gains.

All sectoral indices on the NSE settled deep in the red, with banks, IT and metal scripts being the biggest drags on both benchmarks. Broader markets also bled with Nifty mid and small cap falling around two per cent each.

Here are a few factors weighing on the market:

On Thursday, the Bank of England warned that the UK economy could shrink in 2023 and projected a 10 per cent-plus inflation, as it increased interest rate by a quarter basis points.

A day earlier, the US Fed had increased its policy rate by 50 basis points, the biggest in 22 years, even as the US GDP shrank 1.4 per cent for the March quarter. In India too, the RBI increased the policy rate by 40 basis points, along with an increase in the cash reserve ratio.

Oil prices climbed for a third straight session on Friday, shrugging off concerns about global economic growth as worries about tightening supplies underpinned prices ahead of an impending European Union embargo on Russian oil.

On Thursday, OPEC+ agreed to only a modest monthly oil output increase, arguing that the producer group could not be blamed for disruptions to Russian supply and saying China’s coronavirus lockdowns threatened the outlook for demand.

  • Weak US economic readings

Data released in the US suggests initial jobless claims there ticked up to 200,000 last week amid continued labor market tightness. May is the eighth straight month when foreign investors are net sellers of domestic equities. This is even as the monthly outflows have fallen from a recent peak of Rs 41,123 crore in March.

A rise in interest rates in the US is pushing the dollar up. The US dollar and risky assets, such as emerging market equities, have an inverse relationship. Data showed the institutional class is a net seller to the tune of Rs 4,857 crore in May so far.

Investors were also keenly awaiting the earnings of market heavyweight Reliance Industries.

“The stock has been a standout performer over the last 12 months; valuations of 18 times FY24 PE, 10.5 times EV/Ebitda and 1.8 times P/BV factor in the upsides, with near-term stress on return ratios owing to stronger-than -estimated capital allocations/challenges inherent in scaling up of new energy plans, making us cautious on material upsides hereon,” ICICI Securities said in a May 5 note.

Besides, there were concerns that investors may pull money out of the secondary market to subscribe to LIC IPO. The Rs 20,557 crore issue was already 103 per cent subscribed by the end of its second day, with the categories for employees and policyholders receiving double and triple the bids compared to the shares reserved.

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