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Sensex tanks 778 points as markets continue to flounder

Stocks remain under pressure following a sell-off in the global markets
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Our Special Correspondent   |   Mumbai   |   Published 03.03.22, 02:20 AM

Equity benchmarks buckled under selling pressure on Wednesday as the Russia-Ukraine war hammered investor confidence and roiled financial markets globally. The benchmark Sensex crashed over 778 points and the rupee fell 47 paise to close at 75.80 to the dollar. Rising crude oil prices also hit sentiments.

Stocks remained under pressure following a sell-off in the global markets as Russia continued to bombard Ukraine.


The Sensex plunged more than 1200 points in intra-day trade before recovering some ground on reports of another round of talks between the two sides. Market circles expect the weak trend to continue in the immediate term as there were downsides in the form of soaring crude prices and a possible interest rate hike in the US.

The 30-share Sensex opened lower at 55629.30 and hit the day’s low of 55020.10. It managed to recoup some of the losses in the last 30 minutes of trade and settled at 55468.90 — a fall of 778.38 points or 1.38 per cent.

The broader Nifty 50 took a hit of 187.95 points to end at 16605.95. The Nifty small-cap 100, however, rose  0.50 per cent.

Auto and financials were hit badly with the Nifty bank index plummeting 2.30 per cent, auto index 2.96 per cent and financial services 1.45 per cent.

Metal stocks gained as the conflict jacked up the prices of various commodities.

In the Sensex pack, Maruti Suzuki fell the most by 6 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, HDFC and HDFC Bank which fell up to 5.14 per cent.

Tata Steel was a major gainer, rising 5.54 per cent.

“Volatility is expected to remain high in the near term given elevated Russia-Ukraine conflict, upcoming state election results as well as an US Fed meeting,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head — retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“Traders need to be cautious of sharp movements on either direction, while investors can use the current dip to gradually add quality blue- chip companies in their portfolios’’, Khemka said.

Rupee falls

At the forex markets, the rupee remained susceptible to outflows from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and the weakness on the stock markets. Besides, investors were moving to dollars as it was considered a safe asset.

The local unit opened at 75.78 against the  greenback and later dropped to a low of 75.86. It finally finished at 75.80, down 47 paise from its previous close.

The yields on the benchmark 10-year government debt rose four basis points to close at 6.81 per cent.

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