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Budget blues continue as Sensex tanks 900 points

The Sensex lost over 400 points in the morning trade on Monday. (Express Photo)

Failing to draw comfort from the Union Budget, benchmark Sensex lost over 900 points on Monday, trading just above 38,000 mark. The 30-share index was trading 1.95 per cent lower at 38,741.08 in the afternoon. Similarly, the broader Nifty sank 246 points, or 2.08 per cent, to trade at 11,565.00.

The BSE Sensex had Friday slumped 394.67 points after the Budget proposal of raising public shareholding threshold stoked fears about liquidity in the market. The NSE Nifty too fell by 135.60 points to close at 11,811.15.

While Yes Bank, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, Infosys, ITC, Vedanta and PowerGrid were among the top gainers in the Sensex pack, Hero MotoCorp, L&T, Maruti, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Tata Motors and HUL were trading in red.

Presenting her debut Budget for 2019-20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman projected the economy to grow 8-8.5 per cent, assuming inflation to remain range-bound at 3.5-4 per cent during the year. The high growth assumptions do not, however, square up with a modest increase in tax revenues and a marginal growth in capital expenditure.

Instead of risking a fiscal stimulus to give a boost to growth that has slid to its 20-quarter low of 5.8 per cent in January-March 2019, Sitharaman preferred the path of fiscal rectitude and announced a series of policy intents that fell short of market expectations.

Rupee slips 16 paise to 68.58 against US dollar

The rupee depreciated by 16 paise to 68.58 against the US dollar in early trade, mainly due to heavy selling in domestic equities and foreign fund outflows.

However, weakening of the American currency in the overseas market, and easing crude oil prices restricted the rupee’s decline, forex traders said.

At the interbank foreign exchange, rupee opened weak at 68.49 per dollar, and fell further to quote at 68.58, showing a decline of 16 paise over its previous close.

The global oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.06 per cent higher at 64.27 per barrel.

(With inputs from PTI)