Domestic stock markets closed in the red on Thursday following negative global markets after the US Federal Reserve raised key lending rates for the second time this year and maintained a hawkish stance for future tightening of policy rates. According to market observers, investors now eyed the policy meets of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan. The Sensex gave up almost 250 points to hit an intra-day low of 35488.55 points, while the NSE Nifty50 slipped by over 80 points to a low of 10,773.55 points on Thursday.
ICICI Bank, Adani Ports, TCS, SBI, Axis Bank and NTPC were among the top losers on the BSE. Of the 19 sectoral indices, IT, consumer durables, capital goods, banking and oil and gas stocks closed in the red. In contrast, the healthcare index closed with gains of almost 1.47 per cent. On Thursday, the Sensex closed 139.34 points or 0.39 per cent lower at 35,599.82 points.
On the National Stock Exchange, the Nifty50 fell by 0.45 per cent to close at 10,808.05 points. “The Federal Reserve voted to raise its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent and also projected a slightly faster pace of rate increases in the coming months, with two additional hikes expected by the end of this year, compared to one previously. Investors took this as a more aggressive stance than previously projected and consequently took to selling equities,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
In the global markets, equities across Europe sold off with investors positioning for an ECB policy shift following a hawkish outlook from the US Federal Reserve, Reuters reported. Asian stocks, too, slumped following the US Fed rate-hike amid concerns of US-China trade tensions.