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MARKET WRAP: Sensex dips 162 pts on US-Iran tensions; PSBs, autos top drags
All that happened in the markets today
Following the global sell-off, Indian equity markets, too, settled lower on Friday after US military killed Iran Revolutionary Guards' commander Qasem Soleimani in a surprise air-strike. The middle-east tensions sent Brent Crude Futures soaring, while market sentiment turned sour at D-Street.
Brent crude futures jumped nearly $3 on Friday after a US air strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian and Iraqi military commanders, sparking concerns of disruption to Middle East oil supplies. At 3:10 pm, Brent Crude Futures were at $68.62 per barrel-mark, up 3.5 per cent.
The S&P BSE Sensex, which hit an intra-day low of 41,348.68, recovered slightly in the fag-end of the session and settled 162.03 points, or 0.39 per cent, lower at 41,464.61 level. 20 of the 30 constituents ending the day in the red. Oil-linked stocks, such as paints, aviation, oil-marketing companies (OMCs), and financial counters remained under pressure.
In the intra-day trade, Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), for instance, declined 2.9 per cent each on the BSE. Reliance Industries, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), too, slumped up to 0.7 per cent.
On the NSE, the Nifty50 lost 55.50 points, or 0.45 per cent, to settle at 12,226.65-mark. Sectorally, Nifty PSU Bank index slipped the most, down 2 per cent at close. Besides, Nifty Bank, Auto, Private Bank indices slipped over 1 per cent. On the upside, Nifty IT index advanced 1.3 per cent on the back of a weaker rupee.
In the broader market, small-caps traded in the green territory, while mid-caps followed benchmarks. The S&P BSE mid-cap index was down 0.44 per cent, while the S&P BSE small-cap index was up 0.01 per cent at close.
Heightened geo-political tensions between the US and Iran turned Asian markets negative. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had touched its highest point since June 15, 2018 in early trade, but fell after reports of the air strike emerged. It was last down 0.16 per cent.
China’s CSI300 index, one of the world’s best-performing indexes last year, struggled to stay in positive territory but was last down about 0.2 per cent. Australian shares finished up 0.64 per cent, but off earlier highs.
In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.6 per cent at 1:30 pm, with all the major country indexes well in the red.
(With inputs from Reuters)