Stock market today: BSE Sensex plunges 500 points; Nifty50 below 22,000 as bears growl again

Stock market today: Indian stock markets, BSE Sensex and Nifty50, traded in the negative territory on Friday, following the trend of global markets amid concerns about future interest rate changes in the US. Investors were also awaiting the results of stress tests on small- and mid-cap mutual funds to assess the potential risks in these segments.
While BSE Sensex plunged 500 points, Nifty50 also dipped below the 22,000 mark.At 10:54 AM, BSE Sensex was trading at 72,665.90, down over 430 points or 0.59%. Nifty50 was at 21,999.30, down over 140 points or 0.67%.
Small- and mid-cap stocks, which are more focused on the domestic market, showed slight gains early in the trading session, with a 0.8% and 0.45% increase, respectively. The stress test outcomes for these mutual funds are crucial as they will reveal how well these funds can manage sudden redemption pressures.
V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, highlighted the importance of the stress test results for mid and small-cap mutual funds. He emphasized the need for investors to focus on high-quality large-cap stocks with fair valuations rather than riskier small-caps with inflated valuations.
From the BSE Sensex stocks, companies like Infosys, M&M, Axis Bank, HCL Tech, and Tech Mahindra opened lower, whereas Bharti Airtel, Power Grid, SBI, Tata Motors, and JSW Steel began with gains.
Paytm witnessed a 5% upper circuit as it obtained a third-party application provider license from the country’s payments authority. This license will allow Paytm to continue offering payment services after its banking division shuts down.
RailTel Corporation of India shares surged by 9% following a significant work order of Rs 130 crore for a network connectivity project in Odisha.
In the sector-wise performance, Nifty IT, Bank, Auto, Metal, Pharma, and Oil & Gas sectors experienced declines, while Nifty Realty and Media sectors saw an increase.
In the global markets, Asian markets faced a decline, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index dropping by 1.1%. Wall Street also closed lower due to higher-than-expected US producer price index inflation in February, raising concerns about delayed interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

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