Sensex crashed nearly 1,400 points in early trade as rising Covid-19 cases in the country took a toll on investor sentiment. India recorded over 1 lakh coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day rise since the pandemic began last year.
Sentiment on Dalal Street was also affected after the Maharashtra government imposed a night curfew in the state from 8 pm to 7 am from today. The state will also go for a complete weekend lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday.
Sensex lost 1,391 points to 48,638 and Nifty slipped 388 points to 14,479 in early trade.
On April 1, Sensex and Nifty, ended higher amid broad-based buying. Sensex reclaimed 50,000 by closing 520 points, or 1.05 per cent higher at 50,029, while the NSE Nifty 50 settled at 14,867, up 176 points or 1.2 per cent. Market was closed on April 2 on the occasion of Good Friday.
Top Sensex losers were IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, SBI and ICICI Bank falling up to 6.52%.
IT stocks bucked the trend with HCL Tech, Infosys and TCS rising up to 0.94% on Sensex. Of 30 Sensex stocks, 27 were trading in the red.
Banking stocks led the losses with BSE bankex plunging 1,527 points to 36,711. Bank Nifty too slipped 1,418 points to 32,439
Consumer durables stocks were among the top losers with the BSE index falling 755 points to 32,053.
Hemang Jani, Head Equity Strategy, Broking & Distribution, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said,"Market over the next few days would monitor as to how the situation pans out in Maharashtra and also in other states especially 8-10 other states where the covid cases are rising rampantly. Apart from this, Q4 earnings would start pouring in from mid-April with Infosys and Wipro being among the early ones to declare numbers.
We are expecting strong 4QFY21 numbers for the IT sector and expect robust FY22 outlook from the management despite cost pressures. Overall, we believe IT and Metals to fare better in comparison to other sectors given the cost pressures faced during the Q4. Thus, April is likely to be highly volatile with Q4 earnings, rising covid cases and higher bond yields to determine the trend."
IT stocks rose after Indian currency slipped 31 paise to 73.43 against the US dollar in opening trade.
BSE IT index was the only major gainer among 19 sectoral indices rising 185 points to 26,954.
At the interbank forex market, rupee opened at 73.38 against the US dollar, then fell further to 73.43, registering a decline of 31 paise over its previous close.
AR Ramachandran, Co-founder & Trainer, Tips2Trades said, "Even though global cues are positive with the S&P 500 breaching the 4,000 mark, the deteriorating Covid situation in India has led to a sharp fall in the major indices today. Technically, 48,240 remains a strong support for Sensex, below which 46450 could be possible. Nifty will have a strong support at 14,414-14,350. 14,750 will act as a strong resistance for this week.