Feb 22, 2013 08:09 AM IST | Source:

Nifty sees biggest crash in 7 months, melts 91 pts at close

Benchmark indices logged their biggest single-day loss in seven months Thursday, as the slide in European shares unnerved investors in India as well.

Moneycontrol Bureau

Benchmark indices logged their biggest single-day loss in seven months Thursday, as the slide in European shares unnerved investors in India as well. Metal, banking, capital goods and realty shares bore the brunt of the sell-off as the Sensex crashed 317.39 points to close at 19,325.36. The Nifty shed 90.80 points to close at 5,852.25.

Brokers said unwinding of derivatives trades could have been one of the major reasons for the collapse. It is not clear if foreign institutional investors were sellers in a big way, but many players feel that could well have been the case.

“In our view, FII flows are the biggest risk to the market. They have crossed 2 percent of market cap on a 12-month trailing basis, which has historically been a warning sign for prospective equity returns,” said a Morgan Stanley note to clients this morning, adding, “The trigger for a reversal of flows comes from a global risk off which is hard to time.”

So far in 2013 alone, FIIs have net bought around Rs 43,000 crore worth of shares, coming on the heels of Rs 1.3 lakh crore of net purchases in 2012.

Unlike in the previous weeks when investors were mostly dumping midcap and small cap shares, Thursday’s crash was broad-based.

“I don’t think any kind of negative perception has started building up. This seems to be the pure global effect and may be because of the FII risk-off (outlook),” investment expert SP Tulsian said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

Market expectations are low ahead of the Union Budget next Thursday, as the widely-held view is that Finance Minister Chidambaram is likely to focus on fiscal consolidation through expenditure cuts. While this would help avert a sovereign rating downgrade, it would also delay economic recovery, say analysts.

ABB, JSW Steel, JSW Energy, Pantaloon Retail, Shriram Transport and Sun TV were among the big losers of the day, shedding between 5-8 percent.

Shares from the FMCG, pharma and IT shares fared slightly better as investors sought refuge in defensive sectors.

Videocon Industries was the top gainer, rising 5.2 percent. Glaxosmithkline Consumer, Godrej Consumer, Glenmark Pharma and Hexware rose between 0.5-2.0 percent.

“There are low expectations on the Budget and in the absence of that investors are again getting focused on what is happening in the global markets. The Fed minutes which came out spooked Asia and that has followed on through to our markets and to Europe as well,” Dipan Mehta, member, BSE & NSE, said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

“Now, we are seeing a lot of global commentators being worried about the turn in the interest rate cycle globally which means that if the Federal Reserve is going to follow a slightly tighter monetary policy then that is going to have an impact on all risky assets and commodities and emerging markets are amongst the risky assets,” he said.

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