MAHARASHTRA, India – The Indian stocks settled lower to end the trading week on Friday, following the sell-off in the global market and the death of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guards after the surprise air-strike by the US military.
The increasing tension in the Middle East boosted the Brent Crude Futures, but the opposite was the sentiment in the stock market. On Friday’s session, the Brent Crude futures soared to around $3 following the death of the top Iraqi and Iranian military commanders during the surprise airstrike in Baghdad. At around 3:10 pm, the Brent Crude Futures were trading at $68.62 per barrel, recording a 3.5% increase for the day.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index dropped to an intra-day low at 41,348.68 points. Fortunately, it was able to recover later to increase by 0.39%, adding 162.03 points to settle at 41,464.61. Out of the 30 stocks listed in the index, 20 ended the session in the red. Mostly, oil-related shares, including oil-marketing companies (OMCs), aviation, paints, and financial counters, stayed trading under pressure.
Under the BSE, stocks, including the Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), declined by around 2.9% each during the intra-day trade. Other stocks decline by around 0.7% as well, such as Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), Reliance Industries, and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
On the NSE, most stocks slipped for the day as well. The Nifty 50 index dropped by 0.45%, losing 55.50 points to settle at 12,226.65 points for the day. In sectoral stocks, the Nifty PSU Bank index was recorded as the top loser as it drops 2% as the stock market closed. The Nifty Bank, Private Bank, and Auto indices also slipped for the day by more than 1% each.
On the other hand, the Nifty IT index was trading positively throughout the day, closing with a 1.3% advanced as the rupee weakened.
In the broader market, the small-cap index was optimistic throughout the day as it trades mostly in the green territory. However, the mid-caps followed the same downtrend of the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE small-cap index recorded a modest 0.01% increase during the market close, while the S&P BSE mid-cap index dropped by around 0.44%.
The declining stocks for the day in most of the Asian markets were mainly due to the increasing geopolitical tension between Iran and the US. On June 15, 2018, the broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan in the MSCI reached its highest point but dropped consistently following reports of airstrikes. Last recorded for the index was a 0.16% decline.