Worsening global growth prospects and instability in Ukraine amid concerns over domestic macroeconomic deterioration spooked investor sentiment today, pushing down stocks sharply after five-session rally. The NSE bellwether index Nifty plummeted by a hefty 55.50 points, or 0.88% to settle at 6,221.45 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). It had risen 185.50 points.
Healthcare, technology, finance, auto and fmcg related stocks witnessed heavy unwinding from investors. However, firm buying in index-linked heavyweights mainly helped the market to show some resilience compared to global peers. The spill-over effects of the geopolitical tensions surrounding Ukraine weighed heavily across the global and emerging financial markets including currencies.
Moreover, disappointing macro-economic data from China, which fell to an eight-month low in February, further dampened the sentiment. India's economy grew below expectations at 4.7% in October-December on falling output in the manufacturing sector, below its 5% target for the seventh straight quarter.
While, Government's fiscal deficit in the 10 months through January 2014 overshot revised estimates of Rs 5.24 lakh crore for this fiscal. After trading direction-less in early part of the day, market encountered sudden spike of volatility in afternoon session with the key indices hitting the day's lowest point before regaining some lost ground.
Investors are worried by the latest developing situations following the stand-off between Russia and Ukraine at its implication on global economy as crude oil prices saw sharp spike amid fears of supply disruption, which is likely to impact India severely, a trader commented. HCL-Tech, JP Associates, Sun Pharma, BHEL, Dr Reddy, PNB, M&M, Kotak Bank, Cipla and Wipro were the key laggards from the index stocks.
The notable gainers included NMDC, IDFC, Jindal Steel, Cairn, Reliance, Coal India, ITC, Hindalco, Power Grid and Tata Steel. Turnover in the cash segment dropped to Rs 10,356.79 crore from Rs 15,153.42 crore last Friday. A total of 5,534.45 lakh shares changed hands in 58,33,032 trades. Market capitalisation stood at Rs 66,82,607 crore.