Domestic stock markets plunged more than 1 per cent on Wednesday to end a rally that continued for five trading sessions in a row, as COVID-19 infections continued to surge. The S&P BSE Sensex moved in a range of 594.26 points, slumping to as low as 36,234.17 in afternoon deals, having gained to 36,828.43 at the strongest level earlier. The broader NSE Nifty 50 also registered a wild swing, moving between 10,676.55 and 10,847.85 compared to its previous close of 10,799.65. Losses in automobile, energy and IT outweighed gains in consumer goods, pharmaceutical and metal shares.
The Sensex ended 345.51 points - or 0.94 per cent - lower at 36,329.01, and the Nifty settled at 10,705.75, down 93.90 points - or 0.87 per cent - from its previous close.
India, the third most affected country by the coronavirus pandemic, reported 22,752 new infections as of Wednesday morning, taking the total to 742,417 including 20,642 deaths, health ministry data showed.
Massive liquidity in global markets as a result of central banks' response to the coronavirus crisis has seen equity markets rally sharply since a crash in March, with the Nifty recovering more than 43 per cent. The latest rally, which spanned five days, saw the index gain nearly 5 per cent to four-month highs.
"There is a tug between worries over the virus and its impact on the economy, and the liquidity push that is creating a support in the market," said Mayuresh Joshi, head of equity research at William O'Neil & Co in India.
Asian stocks were shaky following a drop on Wall Street overnight, as an increase in new virus cases in some parts of the world cast doubts over the economic recovery.