[MUMBAI] India's NSE index fell about 1.5 per cent on Thursday, its biggest single-day percentage drop in nearly four weeks, amid global risk aversion while Infosys declined on speculation that it may announce acquisitions which may weigh on its earnings.
Infosys shares fell 3.49 per cent, weighing heavily on the NSE index. A company spokeswoman did not immediately offer comments. The IT services provider will make an announcement at 5 pm, according to its website.
Equity markets, oil and emerging market currencies fell as fading expectations for an imminent US interest rate hike following Federal Reserve meeting minutes stoked anxiety about the health of the global economy.
Selling was also seen in mid-cap and small-cap stocks, which have so far this year outperformed the broader market. The BSE MidCap index, which hit its record high last week, fell 2 per cent. "Midcaps and smallcaps were holding on since the last couple of days... But today we saw minor cracks and I think it can worsen," said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas.
The NSE index fell 1.44 per cent, its biggest single-day percentage fall since July 27, while the BSE index ended 1.16 per cent lower.
Almost all sectors ended in the red, with the deep cuts seen in financial stocks. Only FMCG and healthcare stocks managed to hold out.
Among other bluechips, Reliance Industries fell 4 per cent, ICICI Bank lost 2 per cent and Larsen & Toubro shed 1.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, Lupin rose 5.3 per cent after the company received approval for a key anti-cholesterol drug from the US FDA which was seen alleviating concerns over its Goa plant.