Indices fall for first time in 6 days as tensions escalate in Ukraine.

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 4 2014, 10:47am hrs
Markets corrected on Monday after five sessions of gains as tension between Russia and Ukraine escalated with the Russian president on Sunday declaring that he had the right to invade his neighbour and Ukraines interim prime minister deeming the act as a declaration of war.

Russia has already deployed troops in Ukrainians Crimea region. Russias benchmark index Micex posted its highest single-day fall of 11.48% in more than five years. The Russian rouble also slipped to an all-time low.

The BSE benchmark Sensex ended 173.47 points, or 0.82%, lower at 20,946.65, while the NSEs Nifty ended 55.50 points, or 0.88%, lower at 6,221.45.

The fall in Indian markets was led by Dr Reddys Laboratories (-2.97%), BHEL (-2.81%) and Sun Pharmaceutical (-2.75%). The rupee posted its highest single-day fall in nearly two weeks as it corrected 0.58% intra-day before closing at 62.04 against dollar.

Experts feel the developments in Ukraine would dictate the markets in the near term. Conviction levels will be tested in the run-up to the elections, keeping it volatile. The Ukraine issue is one among several global issues that will influence the market sentiment at least till the polls, said Lalit Nambiar, fund manager & head (research), UTI Mutual Fund.

While, the provisional data of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) trading activity on Monday was not out yet, FIIs have so far bought $387 million worth of equities year-to-date.

Meanwhile, Indias manufacturing sector expanded in February at the strongest pace in 12 months, driven largely by growth in new business orders and an improved macroeconomic situation, an HSBC survey said.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index posted its highest single-day fall in a month at 1.4%. Among Asian indices, the Nikkei (-1.27%), the Hang Seng (-1.47%), Kospi (-0.77%), Straits Times (-0.75%) and Jakarta Composite (-0.78%) were trading in the red. South Africas JALSH Index was down 0.60%.

Meanwhile, prices of gold touched a four-month high in London amid a strengthening risk-off sentiment. Gold touched intra-day of high of $1,350.29/Oz.

Brent crude touched its highest level for 2014 at $111.12/barrel with Russia being one of the major suppliers of oil and natural gas to Europe. European indices were under selling pressure with CAC 40 (-1.98%), DAX (-2.43%) and FTSE (-1.41%) trading in the red.

Back home, among sectoral indices, the BSE Capital Goods (-1.04%), BSE Power (-1.18%) and BSE IT (-1.25%) were the major losers. Among Sensex stocks, 25 declined, while five advanced. For broader markets, the breadth remained weak with 1,480 declines against 1,204 advances.