Sensex falls 135 pts to 1-mth low; US rate hike worries linger

Sensex falls 135 pts to 1-mth low; US rate hike worries linger

Stocks remained under pressure for the second consecutive session with benchmark Sensex today sliding by another 135 points to end at one-month low levels as lingering worries over capital outflows linked to an early interest rate hike in US continued to rattle investors.

The overall sentiment remained largely weak after a massive sell-off yesterday spooked markets as a strong US jobs report triggered speculation that US Federal Reserve will lift rates from near-zero levels before mid-year, brokers said.

Moreover, some investors preferred to stay on sidelines ahead of macro data including IIP and inflation this week.

The Sensex today resumed higher at 28,924.06 and swung between a high of 28,949.11 and a low of 28,584.49 before finishing at 28,709.87, showing a hefty fall of 134.91, or 0.47 per cent, over its last close. This is its lowest closing level since February 11.

Markets on Monday had logged their biggest slide in over two months as Sensex tumbled 604.17 points or 2.05 per cent.

After trading lacklustre most part of the day despite a positive start, key indices turned highly volatile in late afternoon trade following heavy profit-taking in key frontline heavyweights dragging the market into deep red.

However, some low-level buying helped market regain some lost ground during fag-end trades.

"After the Budget, the most anticipated macro event which is watched by markets worldwide is the FOMC meet that is scheduled in coming weeks where markets fear rate hike," said Hiren Dhakan, Associate Fund Manager, Bonanza Portfolio.

The NSE Nifty index dropped by 44.70 points, or 0.51 per cent, to end at 8,712.05.
Shares of telecom firms such as Airtel, Idea and RCom were in the limelight after analysts said bidding intensity in the ongoing spectrum auction has subsided a bit.

Select stocks in auto space like M&M, Bajaj Auto and Hero Moto rose after car sales in India grew in February. Also, industry body SIAM said it expects sales to be in positive with single-digit growth this fiscal.

Elsewhere, other Asian and emerging markets ended lower following a mixed bag of Chinese inflation data amid currency volatility against the backdrop of Fed rate hike concerns. Key indices in Japan, China, Hongkong, Singapore and Taiwan lost 0.19 per cent to 0.94 per cent.

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