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Pti

Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex plunged 871 points to mark its worst single-session fall in nearly a month on Wednesday as investors moved to the sidelines amid rising coronavirus cases in the country.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex was quoted at 49,180.31, a drop of 871.13 points or 1.74 per cent its biggest one-day fall Since February 26.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dived 265.35 points or 1.79 per cent to settle at 14,549.40.

In the Sensex pack, all shares closed in the red, barring Asian Paints and PowerGrid.

M&M was the top loser, shedding around 4 per cent, followed by SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, ITC and L&T.

All sectoral indices ended lower, with BSE realty, metal, auto, bankex, industrials and finance indices falling up to 2.93 per cent.

Broader midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 1.69 per cent.

"Indian market witnessed across-the-board selling amidst high volatility owing to weak global cues and spike in Covid cases. All sectors barring pharma witnessed selling as second and third wave infections in India and Europe, respectively, are bound to hamper economic recovery , Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities, said, "Domestic equities fell sharply on weak global cues and continued apprehensions among investors from surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

India recorded 47,262 fresh coronavirus cases in a day, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,17,34,058, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

The daily rise in infections was the highest recorded in 132 days, while the country's COVID-19 death toll increased to 1,60,441, with 275 new fatalities, the highest in around 83 days.

Further, a sharp rebound in dollar index aggravated concerns despite dip in US bond yields and crude prices, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul plunged up to 2 per cent.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

On the domestic forex market front, the rupee fell by another 12 paise to end at 72.55 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 2.78 per cent higher at USD 62.48 per barrel.

Gold Declines Rs 149; Silver Also Tanks Rs 866

Gold dipped by Rs 149 to Rs 44,350 per 10 gram in the national capital on Wednesday, reflecting overnight fall in global precious metal prices, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, it had closed at Rs 44,499 per 10 gram.

Silver also declined Rs 866 to Rs 64,607 per kg, from Rs 65,473 per kg in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold was trading marginally higher at USD 1,729 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 25.12 per ounce.

"Gold prices has kept downside limited on pandemic worries despite of dollar rally," said HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel.

Rupee Slips 12 Paise To Close At 72.55 Against US Dollar

The rupee weakened by another 12 paise to close at 72.55 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday, weighed down by a massive selloff in domestic equities and spike in global crude oil prices.

Besides, strengthening American currency in the overseas market amid foreign fund outflows also impacted the domestic unit, forex dealers said.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened weak at 72.51 against the US dollar. During the session, it swung between a high of 72.51 and a low of 72.69.

The rupee finally settled at 72.55, registering a fall of 12 paise over its previous close.

On Tuesday, the domestic unit had settled at 72.43 against the American currency.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex crashed 871.13 points to end at 49,180.31, and the broader NSE Nifty dived 265.35 points to 14,549.40.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 3.08 per cent to USD 62.66 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.13 per cent to 92.46.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they sold shares worth Rs 108.24 crore, as per exchange data.

(This story is a compilation of three PTI stories)

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