Escalating Russia-Ukraine crisis ripples via markets; Sensex falls 383 pts




The fell for the fifth straight day on Tuesday as escalation in tensions between Russia and prompted investors to dump risky assets. The dropped 1,289 points, or 2.3 per cent, intraday before recouping over two-thirds of the losses.


reports that Russia is not yet setting up military bases in eastern calmed frayed investor nerves.


The ended the session at 57,300, with a decline of 383 points, or 0.66 per cent. The Nifty, on the other hand, ended the session at 17,092, with a drop of 114 points, or 0.67 per cent.


The broader market saw a deeper cut, with the Nifty Smallcap 100 declining 2.1 per cent and the Midcap 100 index dipping over a per cent.


Overseas investors sold shares worth Rs 3,246 crore, while domestic institutions provided strong support by buying shares worth Rs 4,109 crore.


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Foreign investors have sold shares worth nearly Rs 22,000 crore this month amid headwinds such as rising inflation, US Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) hawkish pivot, spike in oil prices, and geopolitical tensions.


On Monday, Vladimir Putin, in an address, announced Russia’s decision to recognise two self-proclaimed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, further escalating the stand-off between Russia and the West. The Russian president also signed orders to send “peacekeeping for­ces” to the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Russia’s move invited condemnation from the US and its allies.


US President Joe Biden issued an executive order, prohibiting US investment, trade, and financing to separatist regions of Media reports quoting US officials said additional sanctions against Russia would be announced on Tuesday. The European Union and the UK were also expected to announce sanctions on Tuesday.


According to some estimates, around 150,000 Russian troops are stationed near Ukraine’s borders. Analysts said the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe had added a huge amount of uncertainty to equity markets, which were already on a sticky wicket due to the hawkish stance of central banks and withdrawal of liquidity. Experts feared the tensions between Russia and the West could lead to spiralling commodity prices, including crude oil, higher inflation, and tighter monetary policy.


Motilal Oswal, managing director and chief executive officer, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said the could fall further in the near term.








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“It’s a known fact that globally tend to overreact to geopolitical events. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, for example, the global markets fell, but later regained their levels within six months. In the current situation, we think the key transmission mechanism is not via economic contagion or financial contagion, but via commodities.”


The India VIX index gauge to monitor volatility was at 26.6 — the highest since February 26, 2021.


Ajit Mishra, vice-president-research, Religare Broking, said the escalation in tensions between Russia and Ukraine has severely dented sentiment globally as participants were hoping for a resolution through talks.


“We reiterate our cautious view and suggest limiting the leveraged positions. A decisive break-down below 16,800 in Nifty on the index front could result in a fresh fall. Else choppiness will continue in a range,” he said.


Analysts said investors will continue to monitor the Fed’s monetary policy measures. On Monday, Fed Governor Michelle W Bowman said half a percentage point hike could be on the table if the inflation numbers are high.


The market breadth was weak, with four stocks declining for one advancing stock on the BSE. Around 176 stocks hit their 52-week low, against 86 that hit their 52-week high. Two-thirds of the stocks ended the session with losses.


Tata Consultancy Services declined 3.6 per cent and contributed the most to index losses, followed by State Bank of India, which declined 2.7 per cent. Realty stocks fell the most, with its sectoral gauge falling over 3 per cent.






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