The BSE Sensex plunged 239 points on Thursday to end at 35,149.12 points as nervous investors took money off the table amid political horse-trading in Karnataka.
Muted quarterly earnings, crude oil prices inching closer to $80 per barrel, mixed cues from global markets and unabated foreign fund outflows were the other factors behind the sharp fall, brokers said.
BJP legislature party leader BS Yeddyurappa was on Thursday sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for the second time, after an overnight high-voltage legal battle in the Supreme Court (SC). However, the apex court made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 35,483.62 points and advanced to a high of 35,510.01. However, it slipped on profit-booking and touched a low of 35,087.82, before finally settling at 35,149.12, down 238.76 points, or 0.67 percent.
This is the benchmark's lowest closing since 4 May when it had closed at 34,915.38. The gauge had lost 168.83 points in the previous two sessions.
Meanwhile, the NSE 50-share Nifty also lost 58.40 points, or 0.54 percent, to finish at 10,682.70 points on Thursday, after shuttling between 10,777.25 and 10,664.50.
Sameet Chavan, Chief Analyst-Technical and Derivatives, Angel Broking, in a note to clients, said: “After two days’ of volatility, our markets opened slightly higher as indicated by the pre-opening session. But, it was no brainer; we witnessed a strong selling pressure at higher levels, which continued for the remaining part of the day. In fact, the tail-end sell off in few heavyweights resulted into a slide below the 10,700 mark to conclude the session with more than half a percent loss.
"Looks like, the near term tide has once again turned lower after a major political event. The index has now closed below its crucial short term support and hence, going ahead, a possibility of a further slide towards 10,635 – 10,600 cannot be ruled out. On the higher side, 10,725 followed by 10,774 would be seen as immediate hurdles. In between, we may some respite in the market; but overall the short term sentiments have dampened now. Traders are repeatedly advised to stay light on positions and avoid taking undue risk. One needs be very careful now as the recent key driver banking index has now started showing ominous signs. Such development in the heavyweight pocket does not bode well for the bulls.”
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 699.22 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 229.06 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: May 17, 2018 21:33:43 IST