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Sensex declines by 80 points, Nifty down as RBI MPC indicates hawkish stance; Rupee hits 13-month low of 66-mark

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex declined by about 80 points in early session today, in tandem with weak global cues amid rupee's plunge below the 66-mark. Besides, the release of the minutes of last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on April 4-5, indicating the Reserve Bank of India may shift to a hawkish monetary stance in June, weighed on investor sentiment.

The 30-share index, which had gained 95.61 points in yesterday's session, was quoting lower by 79.95 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 34,347.34, with metal, banking, realty, FMCG, power and PSU stocks leading the fall. Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 25.20 points, or 0.24 percent, to 10,540.10.

Brokers said, besides continued capital outflows by foreign funds, profit-booking in recent gainers, rupee's fall below the 66-mark against the dollar and higher global crude oil prices, hurt trading sentiments.

Bucking the trend, shares of the country's largest software exporter TCS climbed 3.81 per cent, to Rs 3,312.30 after the company yesterday reported a 4.4 percent growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 6,904 crore for the March 2018 quarter and its board recommended a 1:1 bonus share issue.

Sensex. Pic courtesy: Getty Images

Sensex. Pic courtesy: Getty Images

Laggards were Tata Steel, Asian Paint, ITC, SBI, Axis Bank, HDFC, Sun Pharma, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Power Grid, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, M&M and RIL, falling by up to 1.39 per cent.

Meanwhile, foreign funds sold shares worth Rs 624.99 crore in yesterday's trade, provisional data showed.

Globally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.18 percent, while Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.73 percent in early trade today. Japan's Nikkei, however, rose 0.14 percent.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended 0.34 percent lower in yesterday's trade.

Rupee weakened by 25 paise to breach the 66-level and hit its 13-month low of 66.05 against the US dollar in the early trade today due to appreciation of the US currency overseas. Increased demand for the dollar from importers also put pressure on the domestic unit.

Meanwhile, the minutes of the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) indicated the Reserve Bank of India may shift to a hawkish monetary stance in June. Dealers attributed the rupee's fall to dollar gains against other currencies overseas, persistent foreign fund outflows and a lower opening of the domestic equity market.

Yesterday, the rupee had lost 14 paise to close at a fresh 13-month low of Rs 65.80 as growing worries over higher crude prices and likely fiscal slippages led to subdued forex market sentiments.

Updated Date: Apr 20, 2018 10:45 AM

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