Indian benchmark indices ended sharply lower on Monday with BSE Sensex falling over 700 points and NSE Nifty slipping below psychological mark of 10,500 levels as investors turned jittery after the Exit poll predicted that the Congress is set to shock the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state assembly elections.
With conclusion of assembly elections in five states, all eyes will be on result, which would be declared on Tuesday. According to market analysts, the announcement of assembly elections results of five states will only add to the ongoing volatility in the market, which is already under pressure due to falling rupee and rising crude oil prices.
The BSE SENSEX closed 713.53 points, or 2 per cent, lower at 34959.72, and the NSE Nifty ended at 10477.3, down by 216.4 points or by 2.02 per cent.
The broader markets also declined in line with frontliners, with MIDCAP and SMALLCAP indices falling as much as 1.84 per cent each.
All 19 BSE sectoral indices ended in red, with realty and capital goods stocks declining as much as 3.15 per cent and 2.04 per cent, respectively.
Oil stocks got a bear hug, dragged by sharp selling across index heavyweight Reliance Industries, over the concerns of rising crude prices after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia decided to cut oil production.
Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries closed at Rs 1088.50, down 3.95 per cent, after opening lower at Rs 1,112.65 against previous closing price of Rs 1133.25.
Taking cues from Indian equities, the rupee too fell below the 71 per dollar mark in early tradeafter it opened lower by 54 paise to 71.34 compared to its previous close of 70.80. The Market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was weak.
On BSE out of total shares traded 2814, 683 shares advanced, while 1970 shares declined and 161 remain unchanged.
In the Sensex, 28 out of 30 stocks and in the Nifty, 45 out of 50 stocks ended in the negative terrain.
Earlier today, Asian stocks tumbled after China protested the arrest of a senior executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, who is suspected of trying to evade US trade curbs on Iran. Japan's Nikkei sagged 2.12 percent to 21,219.50, after revised data showed that its economy shrank by 2.5 percent in the third quarter, more than expected. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.19 percent and Shanghai SE Composite Index retreated 0.82 percent.
On Friday, US stocks ended lower on weaker-than-expected jobs growth and worries that the US-China trade dispute will not be resolved within a 90-day timeframe. The S&P 500 index slipped 2.3 percent to 2,633.08 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 2.2 percent to 24,388.95. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 3 percent to 6,969.25. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks dropped 2 percent to 1,448.09.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar