Sensex, Nifty fall around 1% due to decline in ICICI Bank, RIL; Auto, FMCG shares fall

Asian stock markets turned weak after the US Fed signaled interest rates will remain high for a longer period; The MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 1.2%.

Equity benchmarks in Japan and Australia opened lower, while a gauge of US-listed Chinese shares fell for the fourth consecutive session on Wednesday. Big Tech led the losses on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq 100 down 1.5% and the S&P 500 down nearly 1%. US equity contracts were flat in early Asian trading.

Central banks will also be in focus on Thursday, with officials in the Philippines, Indonesia and the UK set to announce policy decisions.

The Fed kept its target range at 5.25% to 5.5%, while updated quarterly projections showed that 12 of 19 officials supported another rate hike in 2023. Jerome Powell said officials “are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate, and we intend to maintain the policy.” “A restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is continuing to decline toward our objective,” he said, adding that a “soft landing” for the U.S. economy is the central bank’s primary objective.

Brent crude prices were trading above $93 a barrel and WTI crude was above $90. The yield on 10-year US bonds was trading at 4.41%, and Bitcoin was above the $27,000 level.

At 8:05 am, the GIFT Nifty, an early indicator of the performance of the Nifty 50 index in India, was down 48 points or 0.24% at 19,857.5.

India’s benchmark stock indices closed with losses for the second consecutive session on Wednesday ahead of the US Federal Reserve policy. The index slipped more than 1% intraday, the most since August 2.

Most sectoral indices declined, with non-banking financial services, banks, metals and realty sectors falling the most.

Foreign investors remained net sellers of Indian stocks for the second consecutive session on Wednesday. According to provisional NSE data, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth Rs 3,110.69 crore. Domestic institutional investors became net sellers on Wednesday and sold equities worth Rs 573.02 crore.

The local currency strengthened by 19 paise to close at Rs 83.08 against the US dollar.

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