- Oil prices jumped after US airstrikes killed top Iranian commander
- Global benchmark crude Brent futures hit their highest level since September 17
- Rupee weakens 0.26% to 71.55 against US dollar
The rupee weakened and stocks fell on Friday as oil prices climbed after U.S. airstrikes killed a top Iranian commander, escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Other Asian markets also stumbled following news of the airstrikes, in which the leader of Iran’s elite force Quds and a senior Iraqi militia leader were killed on Friday morning at the airport in Baghdad.
Oil prices surged, reflecting fears that escalating tensions in the Middle East could disrupt oil supplies.
Brent crude futures reached their highest level since September 17 and last rose 2.88% to $ 68.16 a barrel. The rupee weakened 0.26 percent to 71.5525 against the dollar.
India, the world’s third-largest consumer of oil, imports about 80 percent of its oil needs, making it very sensitive to fluctuations in crude prices.
“Iran will certainly retaliate … Oil is likely to be boiling. Bad for large oil importing countries, especially those with large trade and current account deficits like India,” Ajay Bodke said, Managing Director of Portfolio Management Services at Prabhudas Lilladher in Bombay.
“Risk aversion would increase sharply. Investors may once again find solace in mega-caps and avoid ‘risky’ small and mid-cap stocks. “
The NSE Nifty 50 Index, which tracks blue chip stocks, lost 0.35% to 12,239.50 at 9:55 a.m., while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.28% to 41,512 , 38.
Shares of oil refining, retail and telecommunications group Reliance Industries, India’s largest company by market value, fell 0.7% on fears of sinking margins on the rise. oil prices.
State-owned oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp and gas suppliers GAIL each gained about 2.4 percent.
Shares of the country’s two largest airlines also fell due to soaring oil prices. InterGlobe Aviation fell 1.8 percent, while SpiceJet lost 4.4 percent.
Asian Paints, a component of Nifty 50, fell 1.4 percent. Shares of IT services companies, which derive much of their income from overseas and enjoy a lower rupee, gained Infosys and Wipro were up 1.5% each, while Tata Consultancy Services rose by 2.3%.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced another simultaneous buy and sell of government bonds, the third such transaction in recent weeks, measures seen as an attempt to lower yields to long term.