Sensex Crashes 318 Points; SBI, Geo-Political Tensions Weigh

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Rising tensions between North Korea and the US, coupled with a sharp fall in the SBI stock after quarterly numbers pushed benchmark indices down for the 5th straight day in a row. The Sensex came crashing down by 318 points, while the Nifty lost 120 points in trade. The Sensex ended the day at 31,313 points, while the Nifty was down 109 points at close.

The Nifty has now crashed from levels of 10,100 points a few days ago to almost 9,700 points, thus losing 400 points.

Rising tensions between North Korea and the US

U.S.-North Korea geopolitical tensions came to the fore once again with most of the Asian markets seeing sharp losses. South Korea's benchmark Kospi was down more than 1.5 per cent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was also down more than 1 per cent. The Hang Sang was also lower by 2 per cent. Interestingly, while the Sensex saw a sharp fall the midcap index ended only marginally lower by 0.35 per cent. Sun TV was the major gainer from the mid cap space jumping as much as 4 per cent. 

SBI shares slump

Shares in India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) crashed more than 5 per cent after the bank reported an almost 3-fold rise in net profits to Rs 3032 crores for the quarter ending June 30, 2017 from Rs 1046 crores reported in the previous quarter of last year. However, what spooked the markets was the sharp deterioration in the asset quality, with the gross non performing assets rising to 9.97 per cent from 6.9 per cent (quarter-on-quarter). Analysts might now be forced to reduce their price targets on the stock.

Pharma stocks the stars

Pharma stocks were the stars in trade with Aurobindo Pharma, Dr Reddy's and Lupin among the major gainers in trade. Joining these stocks higher were some of the oil marketing names including the likes of HPCL and BPCL. In fact, shares of HPCL rallied 4 per cent in trade. Among the Nifty losers were Vedanta, Hindalco and Bosch. 

Cochin Shipyard makes stellar debut

Cochin Shipyard made a stellar debut on the bourses despite the rout witnessed in other stocks. The IPO of the government owned company had drawn strong investor response. The stock was locked at the upper end of the circuit filter with gains of 20% at Rs 528, after initially trading with modest gains. Heavy buying was seen in the counter. Markets are expected to be volatile next week as threats from North Korea remain.

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