Russia-Ukraine crisis spooks markets: Sensex crashes 2,702 points; Nifty ends below 16,300 - Times of India

Russia-Ukraine crisis spooks markets: Sensex crashes 2,702 points; Nifty ends below 16,300 – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The intensifying Russia-Ukraine crisis spooked markets for the seventh straight session on Thursday as investors rushed to sell risky assets.
This is the second time in last 2 weeks that the benchmark indices have plunged due to the tensions in the European countries.
Markets entered into correction territory as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military operations in Eastern Ukraine.
The 30-share BSE index plunged 2,702 points or 4.72 per cent to close at 54,530. While, the broader NSE Nifty settled 815 points or 4.78 per cents to close at 16,248.
IndusInd Bank, M&M, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank and Tech Mahindra were the top losers in the sensex pack falling as much as 7.88 per cent. All 30 stocks finished in red.
On the NSE platform too all sub-indices settled lower with Nifty PSU Bank, Realty, Auto plunging as much as 8.26 per cent.
Broader markets were badly hit as sustained selling pressure pulled the sensex midcap and smallcap down by around 5.53 per cent and 5.77 per cent, respectively.
Here’s what impacted markets today:
* Russia crosses into Ukraine territory
Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War II and confirmation of the West’s worst fears.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his aim is to demilitarise and ‘denazify’ Ukraine.
Russian troops attacked Ukraine from Belarus as well as Russia and from annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s border guard service said. Missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities and explosions were heard near the capital Kyiv.
US President Joe Biden said Washington and its allies would impose “severe sanctions”. The European Union will also impose new sanctions, freezing Russian assets, halting access of its banks to the European financial market and targeting “Kremlin interests” over its “barbaric attack”, senior officials said.
* Global markets dive
The military actions by Russia spooked global stock indices. Market benchmarks tumbled in Europe and Asia and US futures were sharply lower.
“Markets would be keen to know how the Ukraine crisis evolves and what kind of counter-measures are announced by the West. Post that one could expect markets to stabilise. Investors could add stocks in a staggered manner once the market stabilizes and as a strategy should focus on domestic oriented businesses for now,” Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental) at Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers told news agency PTI.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 1.8 per cent to 25,970.82 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 3.5 per cent to 22,823.26. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.7 per cent to 3,429.96. The Kospi in Seoul lost 2.6 per cent to 2,648.80 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 3 per cent to 6,990.60.
In Moscow, stock exchange plunged over 14 per cent, leading to a brief halt in trading. Besides, the rouble sank 7.5 per cent to more than $87 to the US dollar — its record low.
* Gold, crude oil price jump
Oil prices, which breached $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, added to selling pressure in India, the world’s third-largest importer of oil.
The price of Brent crude oil, the global bench mark, rose more than 6 per cent to $103 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude reached above $98 a barrel.
Russia is the world’s second-largest oil producer, mainly selling its crude to European refineries, and is the largest provider of natural gas to Europe, providing about 35 per cent of its supply.
Oil prices have surged more than $20 a barrel since the start of 2022 on fears that the United States and Europe would impose sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, disrupting supplies.
Meanwhile, gold prices rallied on safe-haven buying along with the US dollar on deepening geopolitical risks and fears of severe sanctions on Russia and possible disruption of supplies of commodities.
“Spot Gold prices at COMEX are trading near $1,940 per ounce breaching near-term resistance of $1,920 per ounce while the next target seems at $1,970 per ounce on geopolitical risk. MCX Gold April prices are expected to touch Rs 52,500 in the near term above which can find resistance near Rs 53,800 per 10 grams,” Tapan Patel, senior analyst (commodities) at HDFC Securities told PTI.
* Rupee tumbles
The rupee weakened as much as 1 per cent to 75.325 against the dollar, versus Wednesday’s close of 74.555.
Inflation-related concerns on higher crude prices, and geopolitical tensions have led to safe-haven buying for the dollar index and is keeping the rupee under pressure, Gaurang Somaiya, FX analyst at Motilal Oswal Financial Services told Reuters.
“The looming risk of this (Ukraine) crisis is no more there, it is a reality today,” said Aishvarya Dadheech, a fund manager at Ambit Asset Management also told Reuters.
* F&O Expiry
Today being the last Thursday of February, the derivative series for the month is set for expiry. This led to additional volatility in markets.
Nifty’s volatility index, which indicates the degree of volatility traders expect over the next 30 days in the Nifty 50, climbed to its highest since June 2020.
(With inputs from agencies)


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