Markets slip sharply after early volatility, Nifty Midcap index now 20% off record high
Photo Credit: Reuters

Markets plunged more than 2% on Thursday after the Swiss National Bank's surprise interest rate hike raised concerns that aggressive monetary policy action to tame inflation would lead to a recession.

The Nifty ended 2.1% lower at 15,360.60, in a volatile trading session, weighed by metal stocks. It had earlier touched its lowest level in over a year. Sensex closed 2% lower at 51,495.79.

The Swiss National Bank raised its policy interest rate for the first time in 15 years with a 50 basis point hike that soured global sentiment and sent the safe-haven franc up sharply.

Its move follows that of the US central bank, which approved its biggest interest rate hike since 1994 on Wednesday and projected a slowing economy and rising unemployment in the months to come.

The Nifty has plunged 5.2% this week, on pace to post its worst week in more than a year, as red-hot US inflation data led investors to price in a 75-basis-point rate hike.

Nifty Metal dropped 5.2% on Thursday, with Vedanta Ltd ending 8.2% lower.

Shares of budget carriers SpiceJet and IndiGo-owner InterGlobe Aviation fell 6.7% and 5.2%, respectively. SpiceJet's managing director said the hike in aviation turbine fuel price was "not sustainable" and could lead to price hikes.

Nifty PSE declined 3.3%, with Coal India down 5.3%.

Only three stocks on the Nifty 50 traded higher, and Nestle India was one of them, posting a 0.4% rise.

Analysts at J.P.Morgan upgraded Reliance Industries to "overweight" from "neutral", but the company's shares were ended down 1.4% after an initial 2.4% rise.

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