Sensex drops 272 points on global selloff

Mumbai: BSE benchmark Sensex extended its losses for the second session Monday in the holiday-shortened week by declining 272 points on heavy selling in realty, consumer durables, metal and auto counters amid weak global cues as political uncertainties in the US dampened sentiment.

After rising briefly to 35,910.67 at the outset, the 30-share quickly slipped into the negative terrain in line with a weak trend at other Asian markets and touched a low of 35,423.24 before ending at 35,470.15, down by 271.92 points, or 0.76 per cent.

The gauge had plunged 572.04 points Friday. Also, the broader NSE Nifty, after shuttling between 10,649.25 and 10,782.30 points, finally settled 90.50 points, or 0.84 per cent lower at 10,663.50.

Stock exchanges will remain closed on Tuesday on account of Christmas. According to experts, global equities were subdued as a partial US government shutdown that entered was set to stretch through Christmas, after Congress adjourned for the weekend with no deal in sight to end an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump’s wall on the US-Mexico border.

Also, investors were nervous after reports emerged that Trump privately asked cabinet members if he had the authority to fire Fed Chair Jerome Powell after interest rates were increased and the stock market tanked.

On a net basis, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 488.55 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 134.14 crore on Friday, provisional data showed. Meanwhile, the GST Council Saturday reduced tax rates on 23 goods and services, including movie tickets, TV and monitor screens and power banks, and exempted frozen and preserved vegetables from the levy.

The reduced rates are likely to come into effect from January 1, 2019, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the 31st meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council here.

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