Shares slip, rupee falls as Fed signals earlier rate increases

Sensex slides 0.34%, rupee drops to weakest since early May

Equity benchmarks fell for the second straight session on Thursday, mirroring weakness in global markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by signalling faster-than-expected rate increases.

A sharp drop in the rupee — which plunged 76 paise against the dollar — also sapped risk appetite, traders said. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 0.34% lower at 52,323.33. The broader NSE Nifty declined 76.15 points, or 0.48%, to 15,691.40.

Banking and finance stocks accounted for most of the losses, while the IT pack saw brisk buying, fuelled by a weak rupee. IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex, shedding 2.9%, followed by Dr. Reddy’s, NTPC, Maruti, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, Bharti and HDFC.

UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech were among major gainers.

“Domestic equities traded weak today on account of weak global cues… as investors focused more on the U.S. Federal Reserve raising the country’s economic growth forecast while noting its projection to hike interest rates sooner than expected,” said Vikas Jain, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities.

“The Fed raised the U.S. growth forecast to 7% this year, while officials moved their first projected rate increases from 2024 into 2023 and opened talks about when to pull back on the $120 billion in monthly bond purchases,” Mr. Jain added.

The rupee dropped 1% to 74.08, its weakest level since early May, while the benchmark 10-year bond yield slid slightly to end at 6.04%.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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