Indian benchmark indices tumbled for the second straight session on Wednesday as escalating global political tensions pushed oil prices higher. Investors also reacted to developments in bond markets, which reignited fear of interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve by March 2022.

The BSE Sensex closed 656 points, or 1.08%, lower at 60,098, leaving investors poorer by ₹1.37 lakh crore as the total market cap of BSE-listed firms dropped to ₹274.86 lakh crore. In the last two sessions, Sensex has declined more than 1,200 points. On a similar trend, the NSE Nifty tumbled 174 points, or 0.96%, to settle at 17,938. During the day’s trade, Nifty touched intraday high and low of 18,129.2 and 17,884.9, respectively.

The broader markets ended on a mixed note, with the S&P BSE Midcap index falling 0.34%, and the S&P BSE Smallcap index rising 0.03%.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was negative, with 1,955 shares falling out of total 3,767 traded stocks. Out of the total shares, 1,690 shares advanced and 122 scrips remained unchanged.

The sectoral indices ended on a mixed note, with PSU, power, auto, metal, and oil & gas indices ending higher, while IT, tech, bank, FMCG, pharma, and realty settling in negative terrain. The BSE IT index emerged as the biggest loser on the sectoral front by falling 1.95%, led by L&T Technology Services, Aptech, 63 Moons Technologies, HCL Infosystems, and Affle (India). The BSE IT index was followed by Tech index, which settled 1.79% lower. The top losers across technology space include Sterlite Technologies, Hughes Ispat, MphasiS, Just Dial, and Infosys.

Top gainers and losers

IT major Infosys emerged as the biggest loser today, with the stock price ending 2.77% higher. Some of the other top laggards include Asian Paints, Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and Bajaj Finance, which declined up to 2.7%.

On the flip side, the top gainer on the BSE Sensex pack was State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, which settled 1.83% higher. The other top performers include Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki India, Axis Bank, and Tech Mahindra, which rose in the range of 0.5% to 1.19%.

Shares in news

Just Dial: Shares of the internet technology company dropped 3% on disappointing December quarter earnings. The company’s consolidated net profit declined 61.2% to ₹19.4 crore for the quarter ended December 2021, compared to net profit of ₹49.9 crore in the year-ago period. Its revenue from operations slipped 6.2% to ₹158.89 crore in the October-December 2021 quarter, from ₹169.54 crore in the year-ago period.

One 97 Communications (Paytm): Shares of the fintech company declined as much as 5% to hit a record low of ₹990 apiece. Paring some of early losses, the stock closed 4.3% lower on Wednesday.

Bajaj Finance: Shares of the non-banking financial company fell 2% after gaining as much as 4% trade to scale a new 52-week high in early trade. The company has reported an 85.5% jump in consolidated net profit at ₹2,125.29 crore for the third quarter of the current fiscal, compared to ₹1,145.98 crore in the year-ago period.

Tata Elxsi: Shares of the software company jumped 10% after it delivered strong earnings in December quarter of 2021. The company has reported a 33.25 year-on-year growth in revenue, while profit after tax (PAT) rose by 43.5% during the quarter under review.

Triveni Engineering & Industries: Shares of the engineering company climbed 5.2% amid earnings optimism. ICRA expects the company’s revenue to remain stagnant in FY22, while it reaffirmed the ratings for existing bank facilities and enhanced commercial paper limit of the company.

TV18 Broadcast: Shares of the media company surged 5% after it clocked strong earnings during December quarter. The company reported its highest-ever quarterly revenue of ₹1,567 crore, up 15.1% year-on-year (YoY), while consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) surged 22.7% to ₹355 crore for October-December 2021 quarter (Q3FY22).

Asian markets extend fall as Treasury yields hit record highs

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly lower for the second straight session on Wednesday, following weak cues from the Wall Street. The market sentiment was dented by rise in the U.S. Treasury yields which reignited fears about spiking inflation and tightening of U.S. monetary policy. The benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit fresh two-year highs on prospect of higher U.S. rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index emerged as the biggest loser in the region by falling 2.8%. South Korea’s KOSPI ended 0.77% lower.

In mainland China, Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component declined 0.33% and 1.28%, respectively. In a similar trend, Taiwan Weighted Index dropped 0.82%, while Australia’s ASX 200 index plunged 1.03%.

Bucking the trend, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.06%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore closed 0.12% higher.

European shares open higher

Most of the European stocks open higher on Wednesday, undermining weak cues from the Wall Street amid rise in U.S. bond yields.

Germany’s DAX rose 0.1% in early trade, while France’s CAC index jumped 0.57%. In a similar trend, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index also edged higher, while Spain’s IBEX index surged 0.56%.

Bucking the trend, Italy’s FTSE MIB index declined 0.33% in early deals.

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