India’s Nifty logs worst session in seven months on MidEast woes, high US yields

By Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares fell on Monday, with the benchmark Nifty 50 index logging its worst session in more than seven months, as the widening conflict in the Middle East and elevated U.S. bond yields dragged investor sentiment.

The NSE Nifty 50 index lost 1.34% to 19,281.75, its worst session since March 13. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1.26% to 64,571.88, biggest single-day loss since July 1, beginning a truncated week on a lackluster note.

Indian markets will remain closed on Tuesday for a local holiday.

All the 13 major sectors logged losses. Only two of the Nifty 50 constituents closed the session higher.

Metals, media and public sector banks tumbled between 3% and 5%.

High-weightage information technology stocks fell nearly 2% after U.S. Treasury yields hit fresh 16-year highs. IT companies earn a significant share of their revenue from the United States.

LTIMindtree, which rose nearly 6% on Thursday, fell for a second straight session and was down 3.96% on the day. The IT company was also the top Nifty 50 loser.

Asian markets were down 1%, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensified and hurt sentiment. [MKTS/GLOB]

“Simmering geopolitical tension in the Middle East region triggered a wave of selling pressure… The uncertainty has increased further, leading to weak sentiment across global equities,” said Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research at Kotak Securities.

The more domestically focussed small-caps and mid-caps underperformed the blue-chips, logging their worst session in six weeks, losing 3.59% and 2.66%, respectively.

“When liquidity is good like it has been so far, the going is good for small- and mid-caps. But when the tide turns, it’s a double-edged sword,” said Umeshkumar Mehta, chief investment officer at Samco Mutual Fund.

Paytm lost 6.57% despite strong quarterly results. The digital payments company had risen 6% in the previous five sessions ahead of the results.

Broadcasting company NDTV, part of the Adani Group, tumbled 4.36% after reporting a slide in September-quarter profit.

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema, Varun H K and Janane Venkatraman)