US crude crashed below $50 a barrel on Monday while benchmark Brent tumbled under $53 after data showed Russian oil output at post-Soviet era highs and Iraqi oil exports near 35-year peaks. The unrelenting slide in oil prices showed little signs of slowing in the New Year, plunging as much as 6 per cent on Monday to hit their lowest since spring 2009, as increased output of US shale oil has exacerbated a global supply glut.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.0 per cent, with Japan's Nikkei dropping 2.4 per cent.
The selling pressure in Indian markets was broadbased with all the sectoral indices on the BSE in the red. Oil & gas stocks were hit particularly hard as the slump in oil prices would hit their margins. The BSE oil & gas index slumped over 1.6 per cent. ONGC and Cairn India slumped nearly 3 per cent while Reliance Industries fell nearly 2 per cent.
IT, capital goods, auto and banking stocks were also under strong selling pressure. Among other major Nifty losers, TCS, BHEL, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors were down nearly 2-3 per cent.
At 9:43 am, Sensex was down 463 points at 27,378 while Nifty fell 135 points to 8,243.
(With Agency Inputs)