Sensex tanks almost 500 points, Nifty below 10900 on LTCG tax woes

BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty open lower on Wednesday

The 30-share Sensex crashed 839.91 points, or 2.34 per cent, to end the day at 35,066.75.

Traders and investors unwinded long positions in equities ahead of the April 1, 2018 cut off date when LTCG tax of 10% on equities will be charged.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading 46.25 points or 0.42 per cent higher at 11,073.95 points.

The index had retreated from its lifetime high by falling 249.52 points in the previous session. On January 21, 2008, BSE Sensex had fallen by 1408.35 whereas on October 24, 2008 it had gone down by 1070.63 points.

According to analysts, not only the government's decision to reimpose the long-term capital gains tax and securities transaction tax (STT) has disappointed the market, but the weakening of fiscal deficit target has also raised questions.

The "falling points" effect was also felt on the Nifty which also fell down around 0.54% same time the BSE Sensex faced the jolt. "Number of tax payers has increased from 6.47 lakh crores to 8.27 lakh crores", Arun Jaitley announced in his Budget speech.

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Budget 2018-19, presented on Thursday, has imposed a long-term capital gains tax of 10 per cent on equities.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 358.50 crore, while foreign portfolio investors net bought shares worth Rs 1,099.780 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Biggest losers in the 30-share index were Tata Power Company (4.35%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (3.18%), Tata Steel (2.59%), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (2.54%), Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (2.36%), and Housing Development Finance Corporation (2.24%).

Capital goods, consumer durables and infrastructure stocks were lapped up, accounting for much of the gains.

All the sectoral indices ended in the red.

The small- and mid-cap stocks were hammered badly as many of them had risen too fast with their business fundamentals failing to keep pace with valuations. Globally, in the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei ended 0.90 per cent down, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.12 per cent. Shanghai Composite Index, however, gained 0.44 per cent.


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