Indian Indices crack amid West Asia crisis

Indian equities extended losses for a second straight day as Israel weighed its response to a direct attack by Iran.

Shares fell across Asia. Gold held firm even as oil prices inched lower on hopes the diplomatic efforts would curtail a larger conflict in West Asia.

Foreign investors sold India shares on Monday, taking their net sales to over ₹12,500 crore over four days.

The Sensex slid 845 points or 1.14 per cent to 73,399. The Nifty settled at 22,272, 1.1 per cent lower. Nifty Midcap 100 and Smallcap 100 Indices fell 1.55 per cent and 1.70 per cent, respectively. Three-fourths of NSE components declined.

Major sectoral indices witnessed selling pressure, with PSU bank and media indices shedding nearly 2 per cent. Shriram Finance, Bajaj Finserve and Wipro were the top Nifty losers, shedding over 2 per cent each. ONGC was the top gainer, up 5.3 per cent.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Geopolitical tensions and higher-than-expected US inflation impacted investor sentiment and dragged the indices to a lower note. The major casualties were the mid- and small-cap indices due to their rich valuation and expectation of moderation in earnings growth in Q4FY24.”

BofA Global Research hinted at a later start to rate cuts by the US Fed while assigning a lower probability to a hike this year. Following yet another upside surprise to inflation in March, the research house now expects rate cuts to start in December rather than June. It has pushed the 2026 terminal rate estimates higher by 50 basis points to 3.5-3.75 per cent.

India’s trade deficit narrowed to a 11-month low of $15.6 billion in March. Merchandise exports and imports in March stood at $41.68 billion and $57.28 billion, respectively.

The short-term trend of Nifty continues to be weak. The next lower levels to be watched are around 22,000, with immediate resistance at 22,400, said analysts.

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