Mumbai: Amid escalation of geopolitical tension, Indian markets witnessed a weak start on Wednesday (January 8). The Sensex opened down 315.68 points or 0.77% at 40553.79, while the Nifty down 100.20 points or 0.83% at 11952.80. Major gainers on the indices are Yes Bank and Bharti Airtel, while BPCL, SBI, Vedanta, Hindalco, L&T, Tata Motors, UPL, Coal India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank are among major losers.
About 147 shares have advanced, 577 shares declined, while 24 shares remained unchanged. All the sectoral indices are trading in the red led by the bank, metal, auto, energy, and infra.
The Indian rupee also opened lower by 19 paise at 72.02 per dollar on Wednesday versus previous close 71.83.
Meanwhile, Asian shares and US treasury yields tumbled on Wednesday, while the yen, gold, and oil shot higher after Iran fired rockets at Iraqi airbases hosting US military forces, stoking fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1% lower shortly after China`s share markets began trading, with China`s blue-chip CSI300 index down 0.56%. Japan`s Nikkei tumbled 2.2% and Australian shares fell more than 1%. US stock futures were also sharply lower, with S&P500 e-minis off nearly 1%.
The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes last stood at 1.7534%, down more than 7 basis points from a US close of 1.825% on Tuesday, though up from session lows. US 10-year Treasury futures had earlier peaked at their highest level since November and were last up 0.63%. The two-year yield dropped to 1.4982% compared with a US close of 1.546%.
The dollar slipped against the yen, with the Japanese currency touching its strongest point against the greenback since October. The US currency was last down 0.28% against the yen at 108.11 .
The euro was relatively unmoved on the day, rising 0.04% to buy $1.1155. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was 0.19% lower at 96.819.
Earlier on Tuesday, Equity benchmark indices closed in the green with no new escalation in the Middle East. The BSE S&P Sensex closed 193 points or half a per cent higher at 40,869, while the Nifty 50 edged up by 60 points at 12,053.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the positive zone with Nifty realty up by 1.93 per cent, metal by 0.7 per cent and pharma by 0.6 per cent.But traders booked profit after reports emerged that the Iranian Parliament has allocated 200 million euros to Quds to avenge Gen Qassem Soleimani`s assassination. The move is likely to be a major disappointment for stock markets across the globe.
(With Agency Inputs)