Wall Street's main indices fell on Wednesday, with steep declines in tech and other growth stocks, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting sharpened investors' focus on the US central bank's plans to fight inflation. The tech-heavy Nasdaq logged a decline of over 2 percent for a second straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 144.67 points, or 0.42 percent, to 34,496.51, the S&P 500 lost 43.97 points, or 0.97 percent, to 4,481.15 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 315.35 points, or 2.22 percent, to 13,888.82.
Asia-Pacific markets dropped on Thursday following two days of declines on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 1.87 percent in early trade, while the Topix slid 1.98 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.58 percent. In Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.93 percent, while the Kosdaq declined 1.02 percent.
Frontline indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended in the red for the second consecutive session on April 6 dragged by losses in shares of financial and IT majors. Sensex fell 566 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 59,610.41 while Nifty50 settled at 17,807.65, down 150 points or 0.83 percent.
Oil futures fell sharply on Wednesday after large consuming nations said they would release oil from reserves to counter tightening supply and hawkish minutes from the US central bank that bolstered the dollar. Selling accelerated into the close, leaving both the Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks at their lowest closing levels since March 16. Brent crude futures settled down $5.57, or 5.2 percent, at $101.07 a barrel, while US crude fell $5.73, or 5.6 percent, to $96.23 a barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FII) net sold Indian shares worth ₹2,280 crore on Wednesday, data shows. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs), however, made net purchases of ₹105.4 crore.
At 8:20 am, the SGX Nifty was trading 91 points or 0.5 percent lower at 17,768, indicating a weak opening for the Indian markets.
Gold traded choppy n April 6 as dollar gained and investors braced for rate hikes. Gold June futures contract settled at $1923.10 per troy ounce with a gain of 0.06 percent.
Rupee suffered strong losses in the previous session as dollar gained amid anticipation of aggressive rate hikes by US Fed. The domestic unit closed 42 paise lower at 75.76 per dollar on April 6.
The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may leave the repo rate unchanged and retain its accommodative stance for the 11th consecutive time on April 8. The RBI MPC meet began yesterday and the outcome is due on April 8. Most analysts believe the central bank may maintain the status quo on stance and rates but elevated inflation can prod the bank to hint at the course of policy normalisation.