Stock Market Today: Nifty and Sensex end 1.0% lower on Wednesday

  • India’s Nifty and Sensex lost 1.0% on Wednesday after opening with modest gains.
  • Nifty and Sensex were undermined by steep losses in the auto sector stocks.
  • Wednesday’s US GDP revision eyed ahead of Thursday’s US PCE inflation, India’s Q3 GDP data.

The Sensex 30 and Nifty 50, India’s key benchmark indices, ended Wednesday with sizeable losses after opening marginally higher.

Global markets turned cautious, in the face of a renewed downside in Chinese stocks and nervousness in the run-up to a fresh batch of US economic data.

Indian traders remained on edge ahead of India’s third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data and the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts due later this week.

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty 50 and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex 30 lost about 1.10% on the day to settle at 21,951.15 and 72,304.88 respectively.

Stock market news

  • The top gainers on Nifty included Infosys, TCS, Bharti Airtel and Hindustan Unilever. Meanwhile, the main laggards were Apollo Hospital, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto, Powergrid and Maruti.
  • Shares of Vodafone Idea tumbled roughly 14% on Wednesday after the company's board decided to raise around Rs 45,000 crore through a combination of equity and debt for rolling out the 4G network.
  • Patanjali Foods shares tanked 5% after the Supreme Court issued a contempt notice to Patanjali Ayurved’s Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna for publishing advertisements of products in violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
  • The NSE's Index Maintenance Sub-Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday after market hours to review the constituents of various indices of the Nifty.
  • Reliance Capital is set to be delisted from the bourses following its acquisition by the Hinduja Group entity.
  • Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth INR1,509.16 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.
  • The third term of the Narendra Modi government will see transformative reforms in sectors such as digital infrastructure, space, artificial intelligence, specialized warehousing, agriculture and tourism, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.
  • The US stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday, as markets weighed a 6.1% slump in the US Durable Goods Orders data and a dip in the CB Consumer Confidence index.
  • Wednesday’s US GDP revision will be closely eyed before the key US PCE inflation data and India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data due on Thursday.
  • Markets are currently pricing in just about a 20% chance that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) could begin easing rates in May, much lower than an over 90% chance a month ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. For the June meeting, the probability for a rate cut now stands at about 60%, down from 70% seen a few days ago.

Nifty 50 FAQs

What is the Nifty 50?

The Nifty 50, or simply Nifty, is the most commonly followed stock index in India. It was launched in 1996 by the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). It plots the weighted average share price of 50 of the largest Indian corporations, offering investors comprehensive exposure to 13 sectors of the economy. Each corporation's weighting is based on its “free-float capitalization”, or the value of all its shares readily available for trading.

What factors drive the Nifty 50?

The Nifty is a composite so its value is dependent on the performance of the companies that make up the index, as revealed in their quarterly and annual results. Another factor is government policies, such as when in 2016 the government decided to demonetize 500 and 1000 Rupee banknotes. This led to a temporary cash shortage which negatively impacted the Nifty. The level of interest rates set by the Reserve Bank of India is a further factor as it determines the cost of borrowing. Climate change, pandemics and natural disasters are also drivers.

What are the key milestones for the Nifty 50?

The Nifty 50 was launched on April 22, 1996 at a base level of 1,000. Its highest recorded level to date is 22,097 achieved on January 15, 2024 (this is being written in Feb 2024). The index first closed above the 10,000 level on October 17, 2017. The Nifty recorded its biggest daily decline on March 23, 2020 during the Covid pandemic, when it fell 1,125 points or 12.37%. The Nifty’s biggest gain in a single day occurred on May 18, 2009, when it rose 651 points after the results of the Indian elections.

What are some of the major companies in the Nifty 50?

Major corporations in the Nifty 50 include HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen and Toubro, ITC Ltd, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd and Kotak Mahendra Bank.

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