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Sensex tanks 1,000 points, Nifty ends below 17K as Omicron fears mount

Sensex tanks 1,000 points, Nifty ends below 17K as Omicron fears mount

Sensex plunged 1,009 points to 56,687 in late afternoon session and Nifty lost 305 points to 16,891. All 30 Sensex components ended in the red.

HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Auto and Tata  Steel were among the top Sensex losers. HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Auto and Tata Steel were among the top Sensex losers.

Benchmark indices ended the session on a negative note today as Asian markets sinked following Chinese property developer Evergrande's warning that it may run out of money.  A rise in the number of positive cases of Omicron variant to 21 in India led to a crash in equity market for the second consecutive session.

Uncertainty plaguing the global markets about the new coronavirus variant also hit investor sentiment.

Sensex plunged 1,009 points to 56,687 in the last 15 minutes of trade and Nifty lost 305 points to 16,891. Later, Sensex recovered minor losses to end 949 points lower at 56,747 and Nifty closed 284 points lower at 16,912.

Market cap of BSE-listed firms fell to Rs 256.74 lakh crore, wiping out Rs 4.28 lakh crore in investor wealth. The market cap stood at Rs 261.02 lakh crore in the previous session.

All 30 Sensex components ended in the red.

HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Auto and Tata  Steel were among the top Sensex losers, falling up to 0.40%.

Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities said, "There was no respite for the markets as investors continued to dump stocks at will due to uncertainty over the current threat of the omicron variant of coronavirus. Weakness in other Asian markets also further worsened the sentiment. After last Friday's sharp fall, the Nifty quickly broke the 17,100 support level. The index has formed a long bearish candle and closed below the 17000 mark which is broadly negative for the market.

BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices fell 340 points and lost 383 points, respectively. The market breadth was negative with 1,418 shares ending higher against 2,004 stocks in the red. 176 shares were unchanged. On the sectoral front, banking, IT, and consumer durables stocks led the losses today.

BSE bankex fell 519 points to 40,672, BSE IT index lost 872 points to 34,177 and BSE consumer durables index slipped 558 points to 42,534. All 19 BSE sectoral indices ended in the red.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 3,356 crore on December 3, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,648 crore, as per provisional data available on NSE.

On Friday, Sensex closed 764.83 points lower at 57,696.46 and Nifty tanked 204.95 points to 17,196.70. PowerGrid was the top   Sensex loser, shedding 4.03 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Kotak Bank, Tech Mahindra and Bharti Airtel.

Meanwhile, the rupee plunged 30 paise to settle at 75.42 today against the US dollar in line with the crash in the equity market as concerns over the new Omicron variant continued to weigh on sentiment.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened weak at 75.22 and witnessed an intra-day high of 75.19 and a low of 75.45 against the US dollar in the day trade.

Global markets

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended 4 points higher at 7,245. Nikkei closed 102 points lower to 27,927 and Shanghai Composite fell 18 points to 3,589. Hang Seng index closed 417 points lower at 23,349.

On Wall Street, S&P 500 closed 0.8% lower, at 4,538.43. The Dow lost 0.2% to 34,580.08 and the Nasdaq sank 1.9% to 15,085.47