Sensex falls 715-pts Nifty Below 17,200, US Fed Reserve Rate impact

Indian equity benchmarks fell on Friday, pulled down by selling pressure across the board. The domestic indices ended the week on a down note after a two-day winning streak. Concerns over high inflation prompted investors to become cautious after the US Federal Reserve hinted at an aggressive rate hike of half a percentage point.

When the Federal Reserve meets in May, Chairman Jerome Powell said a half-point interest rate hike will be "on the table." The Federal Reserve of the United States hiked interest rates from near zero to a quarter percentage point last month.

The 30-share BSE Sensex down 715 points, or 1.23 percent, to 57,197, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 221 points, or 1.27 percent, to 17,172. Mid- and small-cap stocks finished down, with the Nifty Midcap 100 index down 0.94 percent and the small-cap index down 0.32 percent.

The National Stock Exchange's 15 sector indexes all ended the day in negative territory. The Nifty Bank, Nifty Financial Services, and Nifty Metal sub-indices all underperformed the index, sliding 2.10 percent, 1.82 percent, and 1.97 percent, respectively.

Hindalco was the highest Nifty loss, falling 4.85 percent to Rs 514.05. Among the laggards were SBI, Hindustan Unilever, Cipla, and Dr. Reddy's.  SBI, HUL, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy's, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, and Infosys were among the top losers on the 30-share BSE index.

After two consecutive days of gains, shares of HDFC Finance and HDFC Bank fell. HDFC Bank declined 1.37 percent to Rs 1,355.45, while HDFC dipped 1.09 percent to Rs 2,206.40. Reliance Industries (RIL), the index's heavyweight, interrupted its three-day rapid climb to close 0.85 percent lower at Rs 2,758.45. On Thursday, RIL reached an all-time high of Rs 2,788.80.

Mahindra and Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Maruti, Asian Paints, ITC, and HCL Tech all ended up in the green.

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