US Presidential race triggers global panic; Sensex loses 349 pts

RSTV Bureau

BSE_DOWN ARROWOn Thursday, Sensex shed 349 points recording its biggest single-day fall in nearly three weeks, to close at 27,527.22. The Nifty too succumbed to selling pressure and slipped below the 8,600-mark to finally end at an over three-month low of 8,514, down 112.25 points or 1.30 per cent.

World over, markets reflected pessimism after a new poll showed Donald Trump nosing ahead of Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race.

An anxiety gripped the market as it opened gap-down and traded in the negative. The investors also showed caution, watching keenly the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision.

“Market witnessed intense selling on US election jitters and the FED policy today. The opinion poll suggests a neck to neck competition. Investors believe the volatility will rise until the expectation on US election is really factored in. Fed is likely to maintain the key rates but market is focusing on any signs of rate hike trajectory,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Sensex stayed in the negative terrain for the whole day and settled lower by 349.39 points, or 1.25 per cent – its biggest single-day fall since October 13.

ONGC was the top Sensex loser, skidding 4.10 per cent to close at Rs 277.35, followed by Tata Motors, which fell 3.19 per cent to Rs 514.

Others that put pressure on the index included SBI, Sun Pharma, RIL, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy’s, Cipla, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki and Asian Paints. ICICI Bank fell by up to 2.75 per cent. But M&M topped the gainers list by rising 3.54 per cent at Rs 1,369.35 after the company posted 1.21 per cent increase in total sales in October. Of the 30-share Sensex, 26 ended in the red.

Sector-wise, the BSE oil & gas fell the most by 2.76 per cent, followed by realty 2.18 per cent, healthcare 2.15 per cent, PSU 2.05 per cent and infrastructure 2.02 per cent.

Globally, Asian shares ended at seven-week low with Japan’s Nikkei sinking 1.76 per cent and Shanghai Composite plunged 0.63 per cent while Hang Seng fell 1.45 per cent.

In Europe, most indices retreated, with London’s FTSE falling 0.36 per cent, France’s Paris CAC-30 0.61 per cent and Germany’s Frankfurt 0.72 per cent in their early deals.

(With inputs from PTI)