BENGALURU: Indian stocks hit an over-one-week low in volatile trading on Wednesday, ahead of the monthly expiry of derivatives and the federal budget.
The Nifty 50 index was down 1% at 17,936.25 as of 11:17 a.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.96% to 60,394.36. "We are seeing a lot of volatility, especially in the light of the Adani report, and with monthly expiry for futures and options today and before the budget," said Samrat Dasgupta, chief executive officer of Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.
Nifty's volatility index climbed as much as 8.5% to 14.815 after hovering around the 14 mark for over a month.
Stocks of Adani group companies fell between 2% and 7% after short-seller Hindenburg Research said it holds short positions in those firms through US-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivative instruments.
The Nifty is still in the 17,800 to 18,200 range, so it may be a good opportunity to pick up stocks when it reaches the 17,800 level as it is a good support as of now, Dasgupta said.
Markets will likely see further consolidation ahead of the Union budget due next week, which could entail a higher allocation for social sector programmes, analysts have said.
All the major sectoral indexes declined, with the high-weightage financials and IT losing 1.5% and 0.8%, respectively. Nifty 50 members Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto , Cipla Ltd and Dr Reddy's Labs are scheduled to report their quarterly results later in the day.
Auto stocks shed early gains to trade 0.2% lower, with Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj Auto the only gainers on the index.
Maruti was up 0.8% on strong third-quarter earnings, while Bajaj Auto rose 0.3%.
Indian markets will be closed on Thursday for a public holiday.