Sensex Falls Over 800 Points Posts Biggest One-Day Loss In 3 Weeks

Investors turned cautious considering surging cases of COVID-19 in the country and the passage of a contentious farm bill by lawmakers.

Sensex Falls Over 800 Points Posts Biggest One-Day Loss In 3 Weeks

The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell for third session in a row on Monday on the back of a broad-based selloff. Investors turned cautious considering surging COVID-19 cases across the country and the passage of a contentious farm bill by lawmakers in the upper house of parliament yesterday, according to analysts. Weak trading in European equity markets also added to the already negative sentiment on Dalal Street. The Sensex fell as much as 907 points to hit an intraday low of 37,938 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 dropped below its important psychological level of 11,250.

The Sensex slumped 811.68 points or 2.09 per cent to close at 38,034 and Nifty 50 index dropped 254.40 points or 2.21 per cent to close at 11,250.55.

Among the European Markets - England's FTSE 100, France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX dropped around 3 per cent each.

Back home, Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two contentious farm bills, which have triggered protests by farmers at several places, amid uproar by Opposition members. The upper house of Parliament also rejected the demand of several Opposition parties to send the two bills to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee for greater scrutiny.

The two bills -- Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -- were passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday.

India has recorded 54,87,580 COVID-19 cases so far with 86,961 new infections, government data showed on Monday. 1,130 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the total number of deaths to 87,882, whereas 93,356 patients have recovered from the infection.

Selling pressure was visible across sectors. All the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower, led by Nifty Realty index's 6 per cent decline. The Nifty Metal, Pharma, PSU Banking, Financial Services and Private Bank indexes also fell 3-5.5 per cent each.

Mid- and small-cap shares were also engulfed in a bear hug, with Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes dropping over 4 per cent each.

In the Nifty 50 basket of shares, forty seven shares closed lower led by IndusInd Bank's 8.5 per cent fall. Tata Motors, Hindalco, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Infratel, Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki and Axis Bank also fell between 5-8 per cent.

On the flip side, TCS, Infosys and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the notable gainers.

The overall market breadth was extremely poor, as 1,597 shares closed lower while 293 ended higher on the NSE.