Indian share markets continued to fall in today’s trade and finished with their first weekly loss in the last six weeks, tracking global markets as escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea continued.
At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 318 points and the NSE Nifty finished down 109 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 0.2% while & S&P BSE Small Cap finished flat. Losses were largely seen in metal stocks, auto stocks and realty stocks. Pharma stocks and consumer durables stocks finished in green.
Asian stock markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is down 2.04% while China’s Shanghai Composite is off 1.63% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.05%. European markets too are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 1.16% while London’s FTSE 100 is off 1.12% and Germany’s DAX is lower by 0.41%.
The rupee was trading at Rs 64.17 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 48.31 at the time of writing.
In news from economic sector, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made a surprise move by halving its dividend payout to the government to Rs 306.59 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, less than half of the Rs 658.76 billion it paid the previous year.
For the year 2014-15, the RBI had paid Rs 658.96 billion dividend and Rs 526.79 billion in the year prior to that. However, the central bank hasn’t given any specific reasons for the sharp fall in the surplus income for the year ended June 2017.
The government had expected Rs 580 billion in dividend from the RBI in 2017-18. In the Union Budget for 2017-18, the government had accounted for a dividend of Rs 749.01 billion from the RBI, nationalised banks and financial institutions for this fiscal. The dividend reduction by the RBI may put pressure on fiscal math and the government would have to find resources to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% for 2017-18.