Indian equities crashed in line with global markets today, as worries over a fast-spreading coronavirus variant in South Africa roiled investor sentiment. The European Union proposing suspension of air travel from Southern Africa also led to the blood-bath in global markets.
At home, Sensex ended 1,687 points lower at 57,107 and Nifty lost 509 points to 17,026. Investors lost Rs 7.45 lakh crore in the last trading session of this week.
Market cap of BSE-listed firms declined to Rs 258.21 lakh crore against Rs 265.66 lakh crore in the previous session.
Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities said,"Stock markets nosedived across the globe on Friday, heading for their largest weekly drop in almost two months, as a new coronavirus variant sparked concerns. The B.1.1529 strain reported to contain up to 30 identified mutations comes as a new, more transmissible, variant of COVID-19 and was identified in South Africa, and later detected in Hong Kong. The scare sent investors scurrying to the safety of bonds, the yen and the Swiss franc.
One view is that due to the thin liquidity levels in Asia trading as a consequence of the US holiday the reaction does appear to be outsized."
IndusInd Bank, Maruti, Tata Steel, NTPC and Bajaj Finance were the top Sensex losers, falling up to 6.01%. On the other hand, Dr Reddy's, Nestle India and Asian Paints were the only Sensex gainers, rising up to 3.35%. Share of TCS was unchanghed at Rs 3,445.
BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices fell 828 points and crashed 751 points, respectively.
The market breadth was negative with 1,067 shares ending higher against 2244 stocks in the red. 104 shares were unchanged.
Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities said, "The new variant of Covid is presenting challenges in the form of lockdowns and travel bans. Apart from the Covid related concerns, inflation remains a worry for countries across the globe. FIIs have been net sellers this week. Equity markets in the near term will closely follow the impact of new covid variant, inflation data, and Central Bank policies."
On the sectoral front, metal, capital goods, consumer durables, banking and auto stocks led the losses today.
BSE consumer durables index fell 1,522 points to 41,920, BSE capital goods lost 1011 points to 27,058, auto index closed 1,087 points lower at 24,330, metal index slipped 1,058 points to18,703 and BSE bankex declined 1,512 points to 41,117.
BSE healthcare index was the sole gainer among the 19 BSE sectoral indices, rising 298 points to 25,626.
On Thursday, Indian market closed higher, backed by gains in index heavyweight Reliance Industries amid a positive trend in global markets. Sensex ended 454.10 points higher at 58,795 and Nifty rose 121 points to 17,536. Reliance Industries was the top Sensex gainer, soaring over 6 per cent, followed by ITC, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Titan, Bharti Airtel and PowerGrid.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 2,300 crore on November 25, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,367 crore, as per provisional data available on NSE.
London's FTSE fell by an unusually wide margin of 3.3% at the opening and Tokyo lost 2.5%. Shanghai, Frankfurt and Hong Kong also declined.
DAX in Frankfurt lost 3.3% to 15,391 and the CAC in Paris plunged 4% to 6,789.13.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6% to 3,564.09 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo declined to 28,751.62. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled 2.7% to 24,080.52.
The Kospi in Seoul lost 1.5% to 2,936.44 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 fell 1.7% to 7,279.30.
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