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Indian stock markets (Sensex and Nifty) ended lower on Wednesday possibly due to costlier crude oil prices and rupee’s weakness vs US dollar with Sensex plunging 169 points and Nifty finishing below 11,250. BSE Sensex closed at 37,121.22, down 169.45 points while NSE Nifty ended at 11,234.35, down 44.55 points. Nine of the eleven sectoral indices on NSE concluded in red with Nifty Media, Nifty FMCG and Nifty Realty leading the losses.

The Nifty Metal index surged 1.2% after Reuters reported, citing unnamed government sources and an unidentified government document, that India’s steel ministry has proposed increasing the effective import duties on some steel products to 15% from 5% to 12.5%.

The domestic equity markets turned flat in the afternoon deals on Wednesday following the higher crude oil prices with Sensex, Nifty trading little changed led by the plunge in HDFC Bank, HDFC and Maruti Suzuki shares. Crude oil prices surged slightly with Brent crude oil trading at $79.17, up 14 cents or 0.18% a barrel and US WTI crude trading at $70.12, up 27 cents or 0.39% a barrel.

Earlier in the day, Sensex rose 240 points after rupee regained 27 paise against the US dollar in the opening deals. The wider share indicator NSE Nifty 50 retook the 11,300 mark following the uptick in shares of ITC, RIL, Infosys and HDFC Bank on Wednesday morning. The Indian rupee registered sharp recovery against US dollar and made a day’s high at 72.4875, up 48 paise per unit US dollar from the previous closing of 72.9662 at the foreign exchange market.

Indian equities began higher on Wednesday tracking the regional Asian peers which rose in the early trading on the back of upbeat Wall Street, lower crude oil prices and the sharp recovery in Indian rupee. Asian stocks rose and US Treasury yields hovered near four-month highs on Wednesday, as investors looked past the latest escalation in the US-China trade conflict, seen by some market participants as less severe than expected.