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PTI

Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 773 points on Friday, tracking huge losses in IT and financial stocks amid a fresh sell-off in global markets.

Persistent selling by foreign funds also affected the sentiment, traders said.

The 30-share BSE index ended 773.11 points or 1.31 per cent lower at 58,152.92. Similarly, the NSE Nifty plunged 231.10 points or 1.31 per cent to 17,374.75.

Tech Mahindra was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 per cent, followed by Infosys, HCL Tech, SBI, Kotak Bank and HDFC.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, NTPC and Tata Steel were among the gainers.

In other Asian markets, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai ended with losses, while Tokyo closed in the green.

Stock exchanges in Europe were under intense selling pressure in afternoon trade.

International oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.43 per cent to USD 91.80 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, offloading shares worth Rs 1,732.58 crore on Thursday, according to stock exchange data.

Rupee Slumps 24 Paise To Close At 75.39 Against US Dollar

The rupee plunged by 24 paise to 75.39 (provisional) against the US currency at close on Friday due to fears of an aggressive rate hike by the Federal Reserve after US inflation raced to a 40-year high in January.

Forex traders said muted domestic equities, sustained foreign fund outflows and elevated crude oil prices weighed on the local unit.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 75.40 against the American dollar, and later witnessed an intra-day high of 75.27 and a low of 75.46 against the greenback.

The local unit finally ended the day at 75.39, down 24 paise from the previous close.

On Thursday, the rupee had settled at 75.15 against the US dollar, after the Reserve Bank of India kept the benchmark lending rate unchanged and said it will continue with the accommodative stance.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.35 per cent higher at 95.88.

The rupee became the worst-performing currency among Asian peers following policy divergence, broad-based strength in dollar, risk-averse sentiments and foreign fund outflows from equities, said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.

Growing expectations of 50 bps hike by US Fed in March after a four-decade high inflation print, dampened the risk appetite and gave a desired push to dollar, Parmar said.

Consumer prices in the US spurted by 7.5 per cent in January compared with a year earlier, which was the steepest year-over-year increase since February 1982.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex ended 773.11 points or 1.31 per cent lower at 58,152.92, while the broader NSE Nifty settled down 231.10 points or 1.31 per cent at 17,374.75.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.45 per cent to USD 91.82 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Thursday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,732.58 crore, as per stock exchange data.

Gold Marginally Up; Silver Declines Rs 626

Gold in the national capital on Friday gained marginally by Rs 22 to Rs 48,669 per 10 grams in line with firm global trends and rupee depreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the precious metal settled at Rs 48,647 per 10 grams.

Silver in contrast, declined by Rs 626 to Rs 62,214 per kg from Rs 62,840 per kg in the previous trade.

The Indian rupee declined 23 paise to close at 75.38 against the US dollar on Friday.

In the international market, gold was trading with gains at USD 1,827 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 23.02 per ounce.

"Gold prices traded marginally up with spot gold prices at COMEX trading at USD 1,827 per ounce on Friday," Tapan Patel, Senior Analyst (commodities) at HDFC Securities, said.

Gold prices pared some of the previous gains following stronger dollar and rally in US bond yields he added.

"However, the yellow metal has kept firm as the US CPI rose in January to 7.50% which capped the downside as inflation hedge," Patel added.

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