Markets paring early gains as oil prices rise; Sensex falls over 571 points

Benchmark stock indexes Sensex and Nifty pared early gains to close nearly 1% lower on March 21 as rising oil prices were a spoilsport amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The 30-part Sensex plunged 571.44 points, or 0.99%, to trade at 57,292.49. On the day, it fell 634.85 points, or 1.09%, to 57,229.08.

The broader NSE Nifty fell 169.45 points, or 0.98%, to close at 17,117.60.

Among the Sensex companies, the biggest laggards included Power Grid, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, Nestle, Hindustan Unilever Limited and HCL Technologies.

In contrast, Sun Pharmaceutical, HDFC Bank, Maruti, Titan and NTPC were the only winners.

“Without any significant improvement in Russia-Ukraine tensions and uncertainty in the Gulf region, crude oil prices rose, leading to a sell-off in the domestic market after the recent rally. FII’s return to buy mode is positive for domestic stocks, but a rise in bulk diesel prices and inflationary pressures are bending the domestic market,” said Vinod Nair, research director at Geojit Financial Services.

On Thursday, the BSE benchmark rose 1,047.28 points, or 1.84%, to end at 57,863.93. Likewise, the broader Nifty was up 311.70 points, or 1.84%, to 17,287.05.

The stock markets were closed on Friday for Holi.

In Asian trading, Shanghai ended marginally higher while Hong Kong was lower. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

Stock exchanges in the US closed on Friday with significant gains.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent rose 3.53% to $111.5 a barrel.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers as they bought shares worth 2,800.14 crore on Thursday, according to stock market data.

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