Sensex Falls 300 Points Amid Selloff Across Sectors

Possible delays in expanded US stimulus and concerns about fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe knocked investor sentiment.

Sensex Falls 300 Points Amid Selloff Across Sectors

Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and HDFC were the biggest drags on Sensex

Domestic stock markets gave up opening gains in volatile trade on Tuesday amid weakness across Asian shares, as rising global COVID-19 cases and concerns over fresh lockdowns in Europe weighed on sentiment. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell 503 points - or 1.32 per cent - to 37,531.14, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 11,084.65, down 165.9 points - or 1.47 per cent - from its previous close. A selloff across sectors, led by financial, automobile and metal shares, dragged the markets lower.

The Sensex ended 300.06 points - or 0.79 per cent - lower at 37,734.08, and the Nifty settled at 11,153.65, down 96.90 points - or 0.86 per cent - from its previous close. 

Zee Entertainment, Bharti Infratel, Adani Ports, GAIL and IndusInd Bank, closing between 3 per cent and 6.60 per cent lower, were the worst hit among the 35 laggards in the Nifty basket of 50 shares. On the other hand, HCL Tech, TCS, Tech Mahindra and Sun Pharma, closing between 2.02 per cent and 2.92 per cent higher, were the top Nifty gainers.

Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and HDFC were the biggest drags on Sensex.

Analysts say concerns about a delayed recovery from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic due to a second wave of infections spooked investors around the globe.

"There are concerns regarding new pandemic lockdowns in Europe. Also, reports about major financial institutions allegedly moving illicit funds raised concerns among investors," Prasanna Pathak, fund manager, Taurus Mutual Fund, told NDTV.

"Also, the market has been ignoring negative news on macroeconomic numbers, rising COVID-19 cases in India, India-China standoff etc. So, yesterday it used the global news flow as an excuse to correct," he added. 

Overall market breadth was highly negative, with an advance-decline ratio of nearly 1:3, as only 458 shares closed higher on the NSE against 1,382 that succumbed to losses.

Total COVID-19 cases in the country touched 5.6 million as of Tuesday, according to government data.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against dairy company Kwality and its directors on Monday for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks of around Rs 1,400 crore.

Equities elsewhere in Asia were broadly weaker on Tuesday, while European markets clawed back some gains after a sharp selloff in the previous session.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.97 per cent. The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 0.14 per cent higher, indicating a positive start for US markets later in the day.

European shares rose in early trade, with the United Kingdom's FTSE benchmark index last seen trading 0.32 per cent higher. France's CAC index was up 0.57 per cent at the time, whereas Germany's DAX gauge was up 1.11 per cent. 

(With inputs from agencies)