Sensex tumbles over 300 points in early trade; Nifty slips below 17,200

Titan was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3%

Equity benchmark Sensex slumped over 300 points in early trade on December 17 tracking losses in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and Kotak Bank amid a negative trend in global markets and persistent foreign fund outflow.

The 30-share index declined 319.82 points or 0.55% to 57,581.32 in the opening trade. Similarly, the Nifty fell 91 points or 0.53% to 17,157.40.

Titan was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3%, followed by M&M, HUL, Maruti, Asian Paints and IndusInd Bank.

On the other hand, Infosys, TCS, HCL Tech and Tech Mahindra were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the 30-share equity benchmark advanced 113.11 points or 0.20% to settle at 57,901.14, and Nifty rose 27 points or 0.16% to 17,248.40.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth ₹1,468.71 crore on December 16, according to stock exchange data.

There are three major headwinds to the market now – the fast spreading Omicron variant, relentless selling by FIIs and hawkish central banks, said V.K. Vijayakumar, Chief investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

"The countervailing tailwinds are the bullish DIIs and retail investors and the smart rebound in growth and corporate earnings. With the Bank of England becoming the first major central bank to hike rates on Thursday, after the hawkish Fed stance, there is an increasing realisation that inflation is turning more durable than thought earlier," he noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a negative note in the overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.79% to $74.43 per barrel.

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