Sensex Tanks Over 400 Pts in Early Trade; Nifty Drops Below 14,800

Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 400 points in early trade on Monday, dragged by losses in index majors HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries despite a positive trend in global markets. The 30-share BSE index was trading 434.90 points or 0.87 per cent lower at 49,594.93, and the broader NSE Nifty dropped 109.35 points or 0.74 per cent to 14,758.

IndusInd Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins and Reliance Industries. On the other hand, Infosys, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, TCS and Bharti Airtel were among the gainers.

In the previous session on Thursday, Sensex ended 520.68 points or 1.05 per cent higher at 50,029.83, and Nifty rose 176.65 points or 1.2 per cent to settle at 14,867.35. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 149.41 crore on Thursday, as per exchange data.

Financial markets were closed on April 2, for Good Friday’. Domestic equities do not look to be inspiring at the moment. A sharp spike in coronavirus cases in the country and resultant restrictions are likely to dent investors’ sentiments in the near term, said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities.

“Imposition of weekend lockdown in Maharashtra, which contributes over 13 per cent of the country’s GDP and nearly 20 per cent of India’s industrial output, does not augur well,” he added. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Seoul and Tokyo were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia were closed for holidays.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.89 per cent lower at USD 64.28 per barrel.