Equities Fall Sharply On US Fed’s Rate Hike Guidance; Titan Top Loser

New Delhi:  The Indian equities fell well over one per cent in early trade on Thursday after the US Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee said that it was ready to tighten monetary policy through rate hike.

In its latest meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee kept its policy interest rate “near zero” and stated its expectation that an increase in this rate would “soon be appropriate.”

“The Committee also agreed to continue reducing its net asset purchases on the
schedule we announced in December, bringing them to an end in early March,” the US Fed’s Chairman Jerome Powell said at the post-meeting press conference.

At 10.25 a.m., Sensex traded at 56,879 points, down 1.7 per cent or 978 points, whereas Nifty at 16,970 points, down 1.8 per cent or 307 points.

Since the start of the year, the benchmark indices have fallen around four per cent, much of it was led by fund withdrawal by foreign institutional investors.

Among the stocks, Titan, HCL Technologies, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, and Hero Motocorp were the top five losers in the morning session.

Cipla, Axis Bank, ONGC, and Bharti Airtel, on the contrary, were some of the top gainers.