IT stocks sees heavy sell-off amid hawkish statement by US Fed Chairman

Mumbai, Aug 29:  Investors in the Indian equity market have heavily dumped shares of Information Technology (IT) companies following the sell-off in US equities after US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signalled interest rates would be kept higher for longer to bring down soaring inflation.

Nifty IT Index ended 1,012.65 points, or 3.53 per cent, down at 27,678.95, and BSE IT index fell 975.72 points, or 3.34 per cent, at 28,269.14.

Hinduja Global and Tata Elxsi fell 5.09 per cent and 5.08 per cent, respectively on Monday. These were the major losers on the IT index. This was followed by Tech Mahindra falling 4.61 per cent, Mindtree by 4.30 per cent, Coforge Ltd by 4.10 per cent, L&T Infotech by 4.02 per cent, and Infosys by 3.93 per cent.

“Sell off in IT stocks today is largely on account of the selloff in US equities on Friday post the hawkish comment by the US Fed Chairman. Post the US Fed Chairman’s statement, markets are baking in higher-than-expected Fed rates for longer than expected, which would result in slowdown in the US economy, thus adversely impacting US IT spends. Any cutbacks in US IT spends would lead to a slowdown in growth rates for Indian IT services companies who are already facing significant margin pressures due to supply side issues,” said Manish Jeloka, Co-head of Products & Solutions, Sanctum Wealth.

He added that despite significant correction in stock prices so far in CY2022, most IT stocks are still trading at a premium to their pre pandemic P/E multiples. Increasing probability of slowdown in global IT spends in 2HFY2023 due to a fed induced slowdown coupled with margin pressures and relatively expensive valuations is leading to a selloff in IT stocks.

US Fed Chair Powell, at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, made it clear that the central bank’s fight against inflation was not over and Fed was likely to keep raising interest rates to stamp out inflation.

“Restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time. The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy,” he added.

Post Jackson Hole, markets will be keenly awaiting the US non-farm payroll on September 2, followed by the US CPI numbers on September 13.

A stronger than expected non-farm payroll and inflation numbers will to further sell off in global equities which in turn would lead to a sell off by FPIs in Indian equities.

So far this month, foreign investors bought shares worth Rs 17,859.76 crore. On August 18, 22, 26, and 29 they remained net sellers in the Indian equities market.

Meanwhile, Sensex ended 861.25 points, or 1.46 per cent, down at 57,972.62, and Nifty ended 246.00 points, or 1.40 per cent, lower at 17,312.90. About 1,455 shares have advanced, 2,045 shares have declined and 203 remained unchanged.

HCL Technologies, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra fell more than 3 per cent. BSE LargeCap was down 1.24 per cent, BSE MidCap and BSE SmallCap was down 0.80 per cent and 0.57 per cent, respectively.


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