The Sensex and Nifty on Thursday ended lower and clocked their worst quarter since the early days of the pandemic, beset by fears that aggressive central bank policy aimed at curbing inflation could hurt the economy.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.12 per cent or 18.85 points lower at 15,780.25, and the BSE Sensex slipped 0.02 per cent or 8.03 points to 53,018.94. The rupee ended at a record closing low of 78.9675 against the dollar.

Both indexes fell around 9.5 per cent each in the quarter, their worst performance since the March quarter of 2020. Foreign investors sold Indian equities worth $13.81 billion in the quarter till June 29, the biggest outflow since at least 2008.

The Nifty Smallcap 100 and the Nifty Midcap 100 lost 19.1 per cent and 10.9 per cent, respectively, in the quarter.

The Reserve Bank of India has hiked interest rates twice in the quarter – once out of cycle. More hikes are expected with inflation above the central bank’s tolerance band for a fifth straight month in May, as crude oil and commodity prices surged following the Ukraine conflict.

“The next quarter won’t be easy, we will likely see companies report the full effect of input cost pressures in their earnings.”

The Nifty Metal subindex was the worst performer during the quarter, plunging 27.4 per cent, including a 2 per cent slide on Thursday.

The Nifty Auto index jumped nearly 11 per cent in the quarter.

Zomato slid 6 per cent on Thursday in its fourth straight session of losses since the food delivery firm announced an acquisition of grocery delivery startup Blinkit.


India today