Bourses add losses in late afternoon session

Indian equity benchmarks added losses in the late afternoon session amid gloominess across global markets as worries persisted about aggressive policy tightening by the Fed. Selling in Metal, Energy and Oil & Gas stocks dragged markets lower. Traders took note of private report that Interest rate hikes in the United States and the resultant pressure on the rupee is likely to give the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reason to deliver a 50-basis-point rate hike on Friday even as it tries to protect a recovery in growth. The RBI’s monetary policy committee (MPC) has already hiked the key policy rate by 140 bps since May to 5.4%. Since the last policy meet, retail inflation has risen above 7% again and the rupee has weakened 9.5% on-year, with pressure on the currency accelerating after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting last week.

On the global front, all Asian markets were trading lower as hawkish Fed talk added to worries about a looming recession. Concerns over Europe's energy crisis and unfunded U.K. tax cuts also kept investors nervous. European markets were trading lower as global markets turned lower on economic concerns surrounding inflation and the growth outlook.

The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 56923.08, down by 184.44 points or 0.32% after trading in a range of 56498.72 and 57213.33. There were 14 stocks advancing against 15 stocks declining on the index, while 1 stock remained unchanged.

The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index gained 0.07%, while Small cap index was up by 0.08%.

The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Healthcare up by 0.80%, Telecom up by 0.77%, TECK up by 0.71%, Auto up by 0.66% and IT was up by 0.64%, while Metal down by 1.19%, Energy down by 0.85%, Oil & Gas down by 0.66%, Bankex down by 0.59% and Realty was down by 0.37% were the top losing indices on BSE.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Dr. Reddy's Lab up by 2.61%, Sun Pharma up by 2.37%, Asian Paints up by 2.25%, Power Grid up by 1.81% and Mahindra & Mahindra up by 1.23%. On the flip side, Axis Bank down by 2.12%, ITC down by 2.06%, Reliance Industries down by 2.03%, Bajaj Finserv down by 1.44% and HDFC down by 1.23% were the top losers.

Meanwhile, the Union labour ministry in its quarterly survey report (January-March, 2022) has said that total employment in nine sectors rose by 10 lakh to 3.18 crore during January-March 2022 from a year-ago period. The nine selected sectors are manufacturing, construction, trade, transport, education, health, accommodation & restaurant, IT/BPO, and financial services.

It mentioned the total number of employment in these nine sectors stood at 3.08 crore during January-March 2021. The estimated employment increased from 3.14 crore in third quarter of last financial year (October-December 2021) to 3.18 crore in 4th quarter (January-March 2022).

Further, it stated the higher employment number also reflects recovery in economic activities after states lifted restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus infections in the wake of the second COVID wave in April 2021 and had staggering impact.

The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 16948.30, down by 59.10 points or 0.35% after trading in a range of 16825.40 and 17037.60. There were 24 stocks advancing against 26 stocks declining on the index.

The top gainers on Nifty were Dr. Reddy's Lab up by 2.65%, Sun Pharma up by 2.32%, Asian Paints up by 2.29%, Eicher Motors up by 2.00% and Power Grid up by 1.93%. On the flip side, JSW Steel down by 2.37%, Axis Bank down by 2.24%, ITC down by 2.17%, Reliance Industries down by 2.13% and ONGC down by 1.93% were the top losers.

All Asian markets were trading lower, Hang Seng decreased 609.43 points or 3.41% to 17,250.88, Nikkei 225 slipped 397.89 points or 1.5% to 26,173.98, Taiwan Weighted dropped 360.52 points or 2.61% to 13,466.07, KOSPI fell 54.57 points or 2.45% to 2,169.29, Shanghai Composite declined 48.79 points or 1.58% to 3,045.07, Straits Times trembled 47.28 points or 1.49% to 3,118.22 and Jakarta Composite was down by 35.42 points or 0.5% to 7,077.03.

European markets were trading lower, UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 102.18 points or 1.46% to 6,882.41, France’s CAC decreased 72.05 points or 1.25% to 5,681.77 and Germany’s DAX was down by 195.13 points or 1.61% to 11,944.55.