Indian Benchmark indices, BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty, opened flat today tracking negative cues from Wall Street and other Asian markets. BSE Sensex opened at 31,302.18 points, while NSE Nifty, the broader gauge, opened flat at 9,648.10 points. At 9:16 am, BSE Sensex was trading 52.69 points or 0.17% lower at 31,244.84 points while the NSE Nifty was down 23.70 points or 0.25% at 9,629.80 points.
US stocks ended lower on Tuesday as a sharp drop in oil prices hurt energy stocks and retail stocks fell over concerns about Amazon.com’s plan to boost its apparel business.
A renewed slump in oil prices to seven-month lows put Asian investors on edge on Wednesday, reported Reuters. Oil prices fell about 2 percent after news of increases in supply by several key producers. The drop took US crude down 20 per cent from its recent highs. Brent ended lower at USD 46.02 a barrel, its lowest settlement since November 15. The US crude futures contract for July, due to expire later on Tuesday, settled down 97 cents at USD 43.23, the lowest since Sept. 16.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 61.85 points or 0.29 percent at 21,467.14 points, the S&P 500 lost 16.43 points or 0.67 percent to end at 2,437.03 points while the Nasdaq Composite shed 50.98 points or 0.82 percent to close at 6,188.03 points.
Asian markets were cautious on the slump in oil prices. Japan’s Nikkei eased 0.3 per cent. While MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5 per cent, Australia’s commodity-heavy market slipped 0.7 per cent.
The Indian rupee opened at 64.51 a dollar on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the domestic currency had closed weaker against the US dollar at 64.50 per dollar, down 0.12 percent from its Monday’s close of 64.43.
The dollar hit a one-month high on Tuesday against a basket of currencies following comments from New York Fed President William Dudley who said that the door is open for the possibility of another rate hike by year-end.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback versus six major currencies, was up 0.3 percent at 97.800, its highest since May 18. The Euro fell to a three-week low of $1.1117, while the Dollar reached 111.86 against the Yen, its highest since May 26, Reuters reported.