Sensex takes 2017’s biggest plunge, drops 364 pts

RSTV Bureau

sensex-down-400x265On Tuesday, the Indian markets slumped after hitting a record high the previous day. Sensex shed 364 points to post its biggest single-day plunge in 2017. Nifty too shed 89 points.

FMCG giant ITC dragged both the indices down as its shares fell by nearly 13 per cent due to increased levies on cigarettes.

Sensex ended the day at  31,710.99 after reaching an intra-day high of of 31,911.61 and then falling to a low of  31,626.44.

Nifty touched an intra-day high of 9,885.35, and then headed south to touch a low of 9,792.05, before finally settling at 9,827.15,

Cigarette major ITC emerged as the worst performer after its stock dived 12.63 per cent to Rs 284.60 following the GST Council’s decision to hike cess on cigarettes by 48.50 paise to 79.20 paise per stick.

Other cigarette stocks like Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries also tanked by up to 7.83 per cent.

The market sentiment was also impacted by mixed global cues as setbacks for a healthcare overhaul in the US raised doubts over prospects for a range of reforms backed by President Donald Trump.

“GST cess on cigarettes dented Nifty’s surge, while global markets and the uncertainties prevailing around the earnings season kept the domestic investors cautious today. However, strength in rupee and recovery in the PSU bank stocks amidst NPA resolution hopes, shall keep 10k aspirations alive,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said.

This is the Sensex’s biggest single day fall since November 21 when it had lost 385.10 points. The index had closed at record high of 32,074.78 points after scaling all-time intra-day high of 32,131.92 points in Monday’s trade.

Sectorally, the BSE FMCG index suffered the most by dropping 6.12 per cent followed by realty, oil & gas, consumer durables, power and PSU.

Besides cigarette makers, other stocks that fell were Reliance Industries, SBI, Power Grid, HDFC Ltd, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Airtel, Kotak Bank and M&M.

But there were some gainers too – Asian Paint, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, ONGC, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy’s, ACC and Tata Steel.

Overseas, European stocks were trading lower as oil and financial stocks declined. Key indices like France and Germany were in the red.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.59 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was in the green.

(With inputs from PTI)