Mumbai: The benchmark indices erased all gains with Sensex falling by more than 310 points and Nifty by 82 points as investors pruned their long positions on the F&O expiry day due to the uncertain global economic scenario and sell-off in technology stocks, dealers said.
At close, Sensex ended 310.71 points or 0.53 per cent down at 58,774.72, while Nifty ended 82.50 points or 0.47 per cent down at 17,522.45. About 1,905 shares advanced, 1,517 shares declined while 130 remained unchanged on Thursday August 25.
Bajaj Finance, Power Grid Corporation of India, Infosys, TCS and IndusInd Bank remained the major losers, while BSE IT index fell 0.88 per cent and Nifty IT index fell 0.87 per cent on Thursday.
“Amid heightened volatility, investors pruned their long positions on the F&O expiry day due to the uncertain global economic scenario. There are concerns that the US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Friday would focus on more rate hikes to rein in inflation.
“Also, benchmark indices had come close to slipping into negative zones in the last two sessions, and hence correction was on expected lines,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.
Investors are now focusing on the Jackson Hole symposium, with remarks from Powell on Friday potentially providing clues about the pace of future rate hikes and whether the central bank can achieve a soft landing for the economy.
Meanwhile, Asian shares rose while Wall Street ended higher on Thursday.
Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 0.58 per cent, while the Hang Seng index rose 3.6 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index gained about 1 per cent.
European shares also gained on Thursday morning after GDP data from Germany beat expectations.
“Volatility would keep the participants on their toes. In the absence of any major domestic event, the performance of global indices will remain on the radar for cues. We thus recommend focusing more on position management and preferring stocks from the defencive basket,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd.