Indian benchmark indices ended the week with a fourth straight session of decline on Friday. A dismal trading day was marked by an almost 1,500-point intraday plunge for the Sensex and the first time the Nifty 50 fell below 11,000 points in two months. The decline was triggered by a free-fall in the shares of housing finance companies – their recovery later in the afternoon helped the indices pare losses.
At one point, the Sensex fell 1,127 points since Wednesday’s close to 35,993.64, Reuters reported. This was nearly 1,500 points lower than the highest level the index had reached in the morning. The Sensex closed the day at 36,841.60, down 279.62 points since Wednesday, and the Nifty 50 ended at 11,143.10, lower by 91.25 points. The Nifty 50 had fallen to 10,866.45 points earlier.
Stock markets were closed on Thursday on account of the Islamic festival of Muharram.
Shares of Dewan Housing Finance Limited are believed to have triggered the decline for reasons that are unclear. The company’s stock, however, is not part of either benchmark index. They plunged 55% on the National Stock Exchange to Rs 274.75 at one point. Shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance – a constituent of the Nifty 50 – dropped 34%. They recovered later in the day.
Yes Bank was the worst hit stock on both indices, falling around 29%, after the Reserve Bank of India denied Chief Executive Officer Rana Kapoor an extension beyond January 31.
Diminishing trade war concerns between US and China, value-buying in select bluechip stocks, sustained buying by domestic institutional investors and a strengthening of rupee helped the market soar in early trade.
The rupee closed the day at 72.20 against the dollar, stronger by 17 paise since the previous close. The gain came after Asian currencies soared as the US-China trade war concerns eased, reported Mint. On Tuesday, it had settled at a fresh lifetime low of 72.97 against the dollar.