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India’s main indexes fall more than 2 per cent, reflecting global market volatility as rising global oil price continues

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FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

In intraday trading on Wednesday, India’s main indexes fell more than 2 per cent, reflecting global market volatility as rising global oil prices continued to worry investors. 

The news: As the Russia-Ukraine conflict began its seventh day, fears of rising inflation, interruptions in global supply networks, and a halt in economic development grew.

  • Before recouping some of its losses, the Sensex dropped as much as 1,227 points, or 2.2 per cent. The index concluded the day at 55,469, down 778 points, or 1.4 per cent. The Nifty50 index, on the other hand, fell to a low of 16,479 before recovering to 16,606, down 1.1 per cent for the day. Stocks in the banking and automobile industries have fallen the most, while commodity stocks have risen.
  • Tata Steel gained the most among the Sensex components, rising 5.5 per cent. With the battle threatening to disrupt supplies, the BSE Metal index rose 4.6 points. Prices of some commodities jumped to their highest levels since 2009.
  • Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Ukrainian issue, US stock indexes gained on Wednesday, following a bruising start to the week, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signalled that the central bank will begin raising rates this month. Powell reaffirmed the fundamental Fed narrative that high inflation and a “very tight” labour market justify higher interest rates.
  • Brent crude oil prices hit an intraday high of $121.89 per barrel, the highest since April 2012, before reversing course. Crude oil prices, according to analysts, risked fueling inflation, widening the current account deficit, driving up bond yields and interest rates in India, and therefore jeopardising macroeconomic stability.

In the Economic Survey 2021-22, India’s growth predictions were based on crude oil prices of $70-75 per barrel. Meanwhile, as the West seeks to isolate Russia, a key energy supplier, some analysts anticipate that oil prices could surge past $125 per barrel in the near future.

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