Domestic stock markets receded from nearly three-week highs in early trade on Thursday following weakness across global equities, after the US central bank stopped short of offering further stimulus to shore up the world’s largest economy against the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index dropped 280.51 points – or 0.71 per cent – to 39,022.34 in the first few minutes of trade, after opening down 182.21 points at 39,120.64. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 11,520.50, down 84.05 points – or 0.72 per cent – from its previous close.
At 9:24 am, the Sensex traded 219.50 points – or 0.56 per cent – lower at 39,083.35, while the Nifty was down 51.10 points – or 0.44 per cent – at 11,553.45.
Selling pressure in banking, financial services, metal and IT stocks pulled the markets lower, however gains in select consumer goods and pharmaceutical shares provided some support.
Shares elsewhere in Asia fell sharply, halting a five-day winning run, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading 0.82 per cent lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 0.45 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures fell 0.87 per cent in early Asian trade, indicating a negative start for US markets on Thursday, a day after the benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.46 per cent lower.
After a two-day policy meeting, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it would keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to “moderately exceed” the central bank’s 2 per cent inflation target “for some time.” That was the last last policy decision of the US central bank before the November 3 presidential election in the US.