Sensex snaps 2-day rally in see-saw trade; PowerGrid slumps 4.5%

Equity benchmarks surrendered early gains to close with modest losses on Wednesday, snapping their two-day winning streak as investors pared exposure to power, IT and bank stocks amid a mixed trend in global markets.

The rupee plunged to its fresh lifetime low against the dollar, weighed by persistent foreign fund outflows and a spurt in crude oil prices, which also dampened sentiment, traders said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex soared in opening trade, before succumbing to bouts of volatility in the afternoon session. It finally settled 109.94 points or 0.20 per cent lower at 54,208.53. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty dipped 19 points or 0.12 per cent to finish at 16,240.30.

PowerGrid was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, slumping 4.55 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, SBI, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel, NTPC and Wipro.

In contrast, HUL, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, ITC and Axis Bank were among the gainers, advancing up to 2.02 per cent.

“With the support from Pharma and FMCG stocks, the domestic market had a steady run until the weak opening of the European market. UK’s soaring retail inflation number along with Fed Chair’s reassurance on bringing down the inflation, disturbed the sentiment, risking sharper rate hikes,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Retail inflation in the UK surged to a 40-year high of 9 per cent in April, official data showed. “The sharp rally in the previous session failed to add fizz in today’s trade, as the market did not capitalise on the firm start and rather turned range-bound to end marginally lower.