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NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the equity markets slumped as India’s fiscal deficit touched Rs 5.25 lakh crore during April-October of 2017-18, crossing 96 per cent of the budget estimate.
The 30-share BSE Sensex lost 453.41 to close on 33,149.35 while the broader 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 134.75 points to finish on 10,226.55. Both the indices lost more than 1.30 per cent during the day.
The markets on Thursday had opened with losses as Sensex lost almost 200 points within fifteen minutes of trading. The fiscal deficit data however, came across as a fresh trigger as the losses of both the benchmark indices more than doubled in the last half an hour of trading. The volatility in the Street has come after a spell of stable trading which saw the indices inch up in a 8-day streak before finishing with minor losses in the last two sessions.
On the fiscal deficit front, the government is on a sticky wicket due to lower revenue realisation and rise in expenditure. The data showed that the government’s revenue receipts were at Rs 7.29 lakh crore in the seven months of the current fiscal, which work out to 48.1 per cent of the budget estimate of Rs 15.15 lakh crore for the entire year. On the other hand, government’s total expenditure was Rs 12.92 lakh crore at October-end, or 60.2 per cent of the budget estimate.
Investors would be hoping for a change in fortune on back of second quarter GDP numbers which are slated to come later in the day and is expected to snap a five-quarter slide of the growth rate.
On Thursday, almost all sectoral indices lost more than a per cent with the Nifty PSU Bank sub-index losing the most at 2.31 per cent. Dr. Reddy’s, Bosch and GAIL were one of the few stocks to have managed to finish in the green while most of the major bank stocks along with other blue chip scrips like Reliance and Tata Motors lost the most.