Benchmark indices slipped on Thursday as oil prices hit their highest level since November 2014 on Thursday, with Brent crude touching $80 per barrel as supplies tighten and tensions with Iran simmer.
The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 35,149, down 239 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 10,683, down 58 points.
Back home, doubts whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could prove its majority in the southern state of Karnataka also weighed on investor sentiment.
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister on Thursday morning even though his party fell short of an outright majority. He has now 15 days to prove his majority in the state legislative assembly.
Among individual stocks, Reliance Communications (RCom) surged 57% to Rs 16.55 per share on the BSE after a media report suggested that the Anil Ambani-led telecom services company and Ericsson inform National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai that they are in settlement talks. RCom erased its entire 30% decline past one week.
In the global markets, Asian shares held steady on Thursday, while the euro struggled near five-month lows set a day earlier following a report that Italian populist parties trying to form a coalition could ask the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros of debt.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 per cent and South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.4 per cent.
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