Equities fall steepest in 10 months on global cues, weak rupee

The rupee today dropped by 34 paise to a six and a half month low level of 65.15 against the US dollar

Weighed down by banking stocks, the 30-share BSE Sensex opened lower and fell further before settling down by 447.60 points, or 1.38 per cent - its biggest single-day fall since November 15 previous year - at 31,922.44.

Meanwhile, the rupee weakened past the 65 mark to hit near-six-month low against the U.S. dollar as foreign investors continued to liquidate their holdings in the local equity markets due to domestic headwinds led by slowing growth, wider second quarter current account deficit and signs of a wider fiscal deficit.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stimulus assurance to revive the slowdown-hit economy as growth slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in the June quarter impacting the country's fiscal deficit target.

Asian stocks fell on the mooted possibility of North Korea conducting another hydrogen bomb test, this time in the Pacific Ocean.

The weekend saw the carnage at market as indices tanked on hectic profit-booking witnessing steepest percentage fall since November 2016.

The broader Nifty fell below 10,000-level to trade at 9,977.10.

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On a weekly basis, the BSE recorded a hefty fall of 350.17 points, or 1.08 per cent, the biggest since August 11.

There was no let-up in foreign selling as FPIs sold shares worth Rs 1,204.95 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities worth a net Rs 1,416.55 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.

Among BSE sectoral indices, metal index plunged 2.07 per cent, followed by oil & gas 1.63 per cent, PSU 1.63 and realty 1.58 per cent.

The laggards were ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, Coal India, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, L&T, SBI, ONGC, Reliance Industries, Hero MotoCorp, TCS, Infosys and NTPC, falling by up to 2.09 per cent. 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 United States drug regulator has been completed with zero observations.

The total turnover during the week at BSE and NSE rose to Rs 25,207.37 crore and Rs 1,47,214.93 crore, respectively, as against last weekend's level of Rs 18,901.77 crore and Rs 1,45,714.27 crore.

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