Benchmarks near the low of the day; European stocks fall

Domestic stock barometers were trading with steep losses by mid-afternoon. As of 2:25 p.m. IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 1110.34 points or 1.97% at 55,136.94. The Nifty 50 index lost 290.55 points or 1.73% to 16,503.35.

Global investors continued to grapple with the economic fallout from the escalating Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap Index fell 0.74% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap Index fell 0.42%.

The breadth of the market was negative. On BSE, 1,501 shares rose and 1,791 shares fell. A total of 133 stocks remained unchanged.

Global Markets:

Stocks in Europe and Asia traded in the red on Wednesday as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to drive oil prices higher.

Brent crude futures soared above $111 a barrel, hitting highs not seen since July 2014. This is despite the International Energy Agency saying on Tuesday it would release 60 million barrels of oil from global reserves, in an effort to ease the current supply constraint.

Sanctions imposed on Russian banks following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine have hampered trade finance for crude shipments and some traders have chosen to avoid Russian supplies in an already tight market.

A Russian airstrike hit Kiev’s main television tower on Monday afternoon, killing five people. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to attack Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

Wall Street ended sharply lower on Tuesday, with financial stocks taking much of the damage for a second straight day as the Russia-Ukraine crisis deepened and sparked investor anxiety.

Investors are also preparing to hear from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during his biannual hearing at the House Committee on Financial Services, which begins Wednesday. Investors will be watching his comments on potential rate hikes closely, as market expectations for hikes this year have eased slightly since the Russian invasion.

Numbers to follow:

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Federal paper was currently 6.808% compared to its previous close of 6.770%.

On the foreign exchange market, the rupee fell slightly against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 75.8100, compared to its close of 75.3350 in the previous trading session.

MCX Gold futures for the April 5, 2022 settlement added 0.21% to Rs 51,925.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for the April 2022 settlement added $6.14 or 5.85% to $111.11 a barrel.

Buzzing segment:

The Nifty Realty index slipped 1.82% to 428.45, amid some profit bookings. The index had advanced 6% over the past two sessions.

Indiabulls Real Estate (down 3.24%), Sunteck Realty (down 2.74%), Prestige Estates (down 2.68%), DLF (down 2.51%), Macrotech Developers (down 2.53%), Oberoi Realty (down 1.84%), Sobha Developers (down 1.25%) and Godrej Properties (down 1.11%) declined.

Actions in the spotlight:

Dilip Buildcon rose 1.23% to Rs 272 after the company received a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) on February 28, 2022 from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for a new Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) project in Chhattisgarh.

Varun Beverages rose 3.7% to Rs 980 against the weak market after the company announced that its board had approved a proposal to strike a deal to manufacture ‘Kurkure Puffcorn’ for PepsiCo India Holdings.

Quint Digital Media hit a 20% higher circuit limit at Rs 483.40 after the company announced it would divest its minority stake in its digital business news platform to Adani Media Ventures.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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