Sensex plunges 486 points amid global selloff

Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, skidding 2.30%, followed by Sun Pharma, SBI, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s, Kotak Bank and HUL

Equity benchmark Sensex slumped 486 points on Thursday, largely in tandem with a global selloff as rising cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in multiple countries and hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve spooked investors.

The 30-share BSE index ended 485.82 points or 0.92% lower at 52,568.94, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 151.75 points or 0.96 % to 15,727.90.

Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, skidding 2.30%, followed by Sun Pharma, SBI, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s, Kotak Bank and HUL.

On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, PowerGrid, HCL Tech and NTPC were among the gainers, rising up to 1.32%.

Pessimistic global cues dented the morale of Dalal Street with selling pressure seen across the sectors amid high volatility. Global markets were deep in the red, shadowing a weakness in the Asian markets following the widening Chinese tech crackdown and concerns over the country’s economic recovery.

"As we kickstart Q1FY22 results season, initial releases of IT sector and a good number of lucrative IPOs will be in focus for the coming weeks," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities, said domestic equities witnessed sharp correction amid weak global cues.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index corrected by over 2.50% as investors dumped Chinese tech giants led by mounting concerns about regulatory risk, he noted.

Asian stock markets fell after the Federal Reserve talked about possibly reducing US economic stimulus and Japanese officials prepared to declare a coronavirus state of emergency during the Olympics due to a surge in infections, he added.

Sectorally, BSE metal, bankex, basic materials, finance and auto indices fell up to 2.43%, while utilities and power indices ended with gains.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 0.37%.

Global investor sentiment was also weighed by the minutes of Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting, which showed that the US central bank is mulling tapering its asset purchases as soon as this year.

In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo too ended with significant losses.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading in the red in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.93% to $72.75 per barrel.

The rupee weakened by 9 paise to end at 74.71 against the US currency.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday as they bought shares worth ₹532.94 crore, as per exchange data.

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