India’s benchmark indices plunged on Friday, indicating the disappointment of investors in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2018 announced on Thursday.
The BSE Sensex closed 839.91 points, or 2.34%, down at 35,066.75. The National Stock Exchange Nifty 50 ended 256.30 points, or 2.33%, lower at 10,760.60 – its biggest intra-day slump in more than a year.
The Sensex website was left with a red table at the end of Friday’s session. All stocks in the 30-share index made losses, besides Tata Consultancy Services, Hindustan Unilever and Wipro, which made marginal gains. Tech Mahindra, HUL, Infosys, TCS and HCL were the only five gainers in the 51-share Nifty.
Investors’ disappointment mainly stemmed from the proposed 10% tax on long-term capital gains on equity gains above Rs 1 lakh.
The rupee, too, was affected by Jaitley’s revision of the fiscal deficit target for 2018-’19, raining on market sentiment further. But after an initial decline, the Indian currency strengthened against the greenback and at 3.05 pm, was trading 0.16% up at 63.82 against its previous close of 64.03.
On Thursday, markets fluctuated throughout the day, opening higher in anticipation of a favourable Budget, plunging after Jaitley announced taxes on long-term capital gains equities and then recovering to close marginally lower.
It may be noted that stocks of Vakrangee, the largest Aadhaar enrolment agency, fell 10% of Friday, slumping for the fifth straight session. Over the week, its share value dropped nearly 40% after a report said that the Securities and Exchange Board of India is investigating the company for allegedly manipulating its share price and volume, according to Mint.