Indian benchmark indices fell 1.8% on Friday amid rising concerns over global economic growth for next year and further rate hikes by the United States Federal Reserve. The BSE Sensex plunged nearly 690 points to close at 35,742.07, while the National Stock Exchange Nifty 50 closed 197.70 points lower, at 10,754 points.
Just five of the Nifty 50 stocks – Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Coal India, NTPC and Power Grid Corporation – gained on Friday. Finance and information technology stocks were the top losers on the BSE.
Indian Oil Corporation, Adani Ports, UPL, Maruti Suzuki and Indiabull Housing Finance were the top losers on Nifty 50, while shares of Wipro, Adani Ports, Maruti Suzuki, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services declined the most on the Sensex. Only shares of NTPC and Coal India rose on the Sensex.
Traders in India have been cautious that the government may announce populist measures to woo voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The government has already exceeded its budgeted annual deficit in October.
The Indian rupee was trading 28 paise lower against the United States dollar at 69.98 at 4.30 pm.
Other Asian markets also suffered losses on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed over 226 points down, the Shanghai SE Composite Index 20 points lower. The Australia ASX All Ordinaries market closed 39 points lower.