Sensex turns choppy, falls over 22 points; Nifty volatile; Rupee breaches 70-mark

Key benchmark indices, on  Thursday, erased opening gains after hitting record highs amid a weakness in the rupee, metal and banking stocks; amid US-China trade war concerns and followed mixed global cues.

The BSE Sensex turned choppy and fell 22.84 points, or 0.06 percent, to 38,262.91 in the morning session. It, however, opened 201.88 points, or 0.52 percent, higher at a new high of 38,487.63, breaking its previous record of 38,402.96m scaled on 21 August.

The gauge has gained 622.19 points in the previous three trading sessions. The stock market remained shut on Wednesday on account of Bakri Id.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

At 1000 hrs, the NSE Nifty was trading flat at 11,572.45. It too breached the 11,600-mark in opening trade, up 49.80 points, or 0.43 percent, to 11,620.70, surging past its previous (intra-day) high of 11,581.75 on August 21. Traders said weakness in rupee and mixed cues from other Asian markets as investors kept a cautious watch on trade talks between the US and China, influenced sentiments here.

Top losers include Tata Motors, Vedanta, SBI, Kotak Bank, Coal India, Tata Steel and Bajaj Auto, falling up to 3.29 percent. Major gainers were PowerGrid, Bharti Airtel, HUL, M&M and Sun Pharma rising up to 1.17 percent.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 254.25 crore and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 197.87 crore on Tuesday, provisional data showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.72 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index down 0.34 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was up 0.18 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.30 per cent lower on yesterday's trade.

Meanwhile, the rupee fell 27 paise against the dollar to trade near 70.08 again amid strong demand for the US currency after the US Fed released minutes of its policy meet on Wednesday.

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the local currency opened at a low of 70.03 a dollar, down from its previous close of 69.81, and weakened further to trade at a 70.08, down by 27 paise.

Forex dealers said increased demand for the US currency from importers and its gains against other currencies overseas on expectations of rising US interest rates, put pressure on the rupee.

With the US economy continuing to grow and the job market strengthening further, many Fed members said they likely will need to raise the benchmark interest rate again "soon," according to the minutes of the Fed policy meeting early this month.

The forex market was shut yesterday on account of Bakri Id.

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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2018 10:44:52 IST

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