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Markets open in red with Sensex at 59,122; Nifty at 17,389


Indian shares opened lower on Friday on concerns of a prolonged high-interest rate regime, as investors await February U.S. jobs data to see if the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policy has managed to cool down the economy.

The Nifty 50 index fell 1.09% to 17,397.55, while the S&P BSE Sensex lost 1.14% to 59,132.60, as of 9:19 a.m. IST.

All the 13 major sectoral indexes declined, with high weightage financials and information technology losing 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively.

The broad-based decline in Indian shares comes after a sharp slide in global equities ahead of the highly anticipated February jobs data in the United States.

A strong jobs report is indicative of strength in the economy and could set the stage for an aggressive rate hike by Fed at its policy meeting on March 22.

The expectations of 50 basis points (bps) increase in the federal funds target rate at the upcoming Fed meeting have now risen above 70%.

Adding to the worries in the Indian market is the return of selling pressure from foreign investors. Foreign institutional investors (FII) snapped their four-session buying streak and offloaded a net 5.62 billion rupees ($68.49 million) worth of equities on Thursday.

Forty-seven of Nifty 50 constituents declined at the open.

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