Mumbai/Nagpur: Indian shares hit their lowest level in more than two weeks and headed for their third session of losses on Friday, tracking a global sell-off after the European Central Bank’s (ECB) stimulus package fell well short of markets’ high expectations.
The ECB cut its deposit rate deeper into negative territory and extended its asset buying by six months on Thursday.
However, its rate cut of 0.10 percentage point, to -0.30 percent, was smaller than a 0.15 to 0.20 percentage point reduction many traders expected.
The rupee too hit a more than two-year low against the greenback at 67.01 per dollar on Friday.
“Concerns of a U.S. interest rate hike, ECB’s stimulus package and impact of rains in Chennai are impacting the market,” said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas.
The broader Nifty was 0.7 percent lower after falling as much as 1 percent to its lowest level since Nov. 19.
The benchmark Sensex was down 0.6 percent after falling as much as 0.94 percent to its lowest level since Nov. 19.
The Sensex was on track to record a decline of 1.6 percent for the week, while the Nifty headed for a drop of 1.62 percent.
Losses were lead by blue-chip stocks. Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC.NS) fell 1.7 percent, ITC (ITC.NS) declined 1.43 percent, and Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) dropped 1.2 percent.
Bucking the trend, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (SUN.NS) rose as much as 6.5 percent after the company won U.S. FDA approval for generic Gleevec.