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Sensex Snaps 2-Day Rally In See-Saw Trade; Powergrid Slumps 4.5 Pc

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Mumbai, May 18 (PTI): Equity benchmarks surrendered early gains to close with modest losses on Wednesday, snapping their two-day winning streak as investors pared exposure to power, IT and bank stocks amid a mixed trend in global markets.
The rupee plunged to its fresh lifetime low against the dollar, weighed by persistent foreign fund outflows and a spurt in crude oil prices, which also dampened sentiment, traders said.
The 30-share BSE Sensex soared in opening trade, before succumbing to bouts of volatility in the afternoon session. It finally settled 109.94 points or 0.20 per cent lower at 54,208.53.
On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty dipped 19 points or 0.12 per cent to finish at 16,240.30.
PowerGrid was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, slumping 4.55 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, SBI, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel, NTPC and Wipro.
In contrast, HUL, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, ITC and Axis Bank were among the gainers, advancing up to 2.02 per cent.
“With the support from Pharma and FMCG stocks, the domestic market had a steady run until the weak opening of the European market. UK’s soaring retail inflation number along with Fed Chair’s reassurance on bringing down the inflation, disturbed the sentiment, risking sharper rate hikes,” said Vinod Nair, head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Retail inflation in the UK surged to a 40-year high of 9 per cent in April, official data showed.
“The sharp rally in the previous session failed to add fizz in today’s trade, as the market did not capitalise on the firm start and rather turned range-bound to end marginally lower.
“The rampant FII selling has been weighing on investors’ minds, and worries about subdued growth going ahead due to rising interest rates is hurting the sentiment,” said Shrikant Chouhan, head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.
Meanwhile, S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday cut India’s growth projection for the current fiscal to 7.3 per cent from 7.8 per cent earlier on rising inflation and the longer-than-expected Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In the broader markets, the BSE midcap gauge dipped 0.13 per cent, while the smallcap index gained 0.33 per cent.
Barring basic materials, FMCG and healthcare, all other BSE sectoral indices ended lower, led by realty (1.82 per cent), oil and gas (0.68 per cent), consumer durables (0.64 per cent) and teck (0.60 per cent).
World stocks stuttered on renewed fears of interest rate hikes crimping growth.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo ended in the green, while Shanghai was lower.
Bourses in Europe too were trading on a mixed note in the afternoon session.
International oil benchmark Brent crude gained 1.13 per cent to USD 113.2 per barrel.
The rupee on Wednesday declined by 16 paise to close at its fresh lifetime low of 77.60 against the US dollar amid unabated foreign fund outflows and a stronger greenback in overseas markets.
Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 2,192.44 crore, as per stock exchange data.

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