Sensex, Nifty slump ahead of GDP data; HDFC Bank top drag

The NSE Nifty 50 index shed 2.04% to 14,788.75 by 0457 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 2.15% to 49,937.99

  
A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 50,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021.

A general view of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), after Sensex surpassed the 50,000 level for the first time, in Mumbai, India, January 21, 2021.

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU  - Indian shares fell sharply on Friday ahead of December-quarter gross domestic product data, as a spike in global bond yields stirred up inflation worries and spooked investors across the world.

The NSE Nifty 50 index shed 2.04% to 14,788.75 by 0457 GMT and the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 2.15% to 49,937.99.

Still, both indexes were on course to end the month nearly 10% higher, thanks to solid corporate earnings and a well-received federal budget.

Selling was across the board on Friday with financial stocks falling the most. Housing Development Finance Corp and HDFC Bank were the top two drags on the Nifty, slipping 2.7% each.

Overnight, U.S. Treasury yields vaulted to their highest since the pandemic began, sending MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 2.4% lower on Friday.

“There is nervousness due to rising yields. The overnight jump is a fresh wound and we are seeing a knee-jerk reaction,” said Rusmik Oza, head of fundamental research at Kotak Securities.

Investors are now waiting for GDP data due around 1200 GMT, with a Reuters poll showing India’s economy likely returned to growth in the December quarter after contracting 7.5% in the July-September period.

In Mumbai, a two-session rally in financial stocks was set to end, with the Nifty private bank index and the Nifty PSU bank index falling 2.9% and 2.5%, respectively.

In the last two sessions, Indian equities clocked sharp gains after overall risk appetite was boosted by dovish signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Despite Friday’s fall, the private bank index was set to finish February more than 13% higher.

The Nifty metal index paused a week-long rally to fall 0.4%. After shedding 5.4% in January, the index was set to close the month more than 27% higher amid a rise in copper prices.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

© Reuters News 2021

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