Sensex, Nifty plunge as trade war fear escalates

Benchmark domestic indices opened sharply lower today with the Nifty 50 slipping below the 10,000 mark for the first time since Oct 12, 2017. 

Indices fell mirroring a selloff in Asian and US equities on fears that a trade war could throttle global growth after US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that targets tariffs on imports worth up to $60bn from China. Reports that China has retaliated to Trump's decision further weighed on sentiment.

Asian share indices were mostly down in early trade today, tracking the negative overnight movement in US and European equities. Equity markets in the US and Europe fell as risk-appetite took a hit due to the likelihood of heightened trade protectionism under President Donald Trump's regime. Investors also assessed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's comments indicating that she was pessimistic over the European Union's ability to negotiate an exemption from these tariffs.

All the Nifty 50 stocks and sectoral indices slipped into the red. Nifty Metal index shed nearly 3% and was the worst hit among sectoral indices.

At 9:46 AM, the 50-stock Nifty index was at 9,985.15, down 130.30 points, or 1.3%. The BSE Sensex was at 32,603.80, down 402.6 points, or 1.2%, from its previous close.

India VIX, jumped as much as 7% today.

Shares of Tata Steel fell 3.6% after the company said it will buy debt-laden Bhushan Steel.

Shares of Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Steel, and Steel Authority of India slipped 2.6-5.4%.

Shares of NDTV fell 4.5% today as the income tax department has rejected the company's plea for a stay on the tax demand, which may lead to the company coughing up Rs130cr in tax dues.

Hindalco (-3.32%), ICICI Bank (-3.23%), Tata Steel (-2.91%), Ultratech Cement (-2.55%), Yes Bank (-2.51%) were the top losers on the NSE.


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