Fiscal concerns, North Korea fear pull Sensex 448 points down

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The key indices started the week on bullish note with Nifty hitting historic highs lifted by increased liquidity support and expectation of two-day US Fed policy meet would deliver status-quo in rate hike.

The rupee - which plummeted by a whopping 53 paise to end at 64.80 a dollar on Thursday - dropped by 31 paise to a four-month low level of 65.12 intra-day trading against the United States dollar before closing at 64.79/80 on Friday amid frenetic dollar demand from importers and banks.

The first-quarter GDP growth slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent this fiscal year.

Stocks across Asia fell after North Korea threatened to test a hydrogen bomb in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech at the United Nations earlier this week. "This was the largest fall for both the indices on an intra-day and overall closing basis since November 11, 2016", Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities told IANS.

The Sensex gained 585.09 pts or 1.85 pct during previous week.

The Sensex and Nifty fell on Friday following nervousness in global markets as investors turned cautious following new USA sanctions targeting North Korea and a China credit rating downgrade. At 9.40 a.m, the Sensex was trading down 243.40 points or 0.75% at 32,126.64 with 26 components falling.

Wall St opens flat as investors await Fed decision
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Wednesday. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.36-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

Sector-wise, all the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed in the red, led by capital goods (down 603.52 points), metals (down 554.26 points) and banking (down 526.84 points) indices.

The second line shares of midcap and smallcap companies also witnessed substantial selling.

According to the provisional data, FPIs offloaded equities worth Rs 1,241.73 crore.

BSE realty melted the most by 4.29 percent. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 394.73 points or 2.37 percent to settle at 16,293.03.

On the other hand, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (1.10%), Wipro (0.88%), Dr Reddy'S Laboratories (0.52%), and Maruti Suzuki India (0.46%) were the biggest gainers in the Sensex. The stock jumped 11.15 percent to Rs 2,456.65 after the company said that the audit of its Custom Pharmaceutical Services facility by the U.S. drug regulator has been completed with zero observations.

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