Posting its biggest one-day rout in over six months, the BSE Sensex nosedived 1,159 points on Thursday as investors unwound long positions on expiry of monthly derivative contracts amid a string of lacklustre earnings and cautious sentiment overseas.
Banking, FMCG and energy shares came under heavy selling pressure, while midcap and smallcap counters also suffered hefty losses.
Sliding for the second straight session, the 30-share BSE benchmark tanked 1,158.63 points or 1.89 per cent to close at 59,984.70. This was its biggest drop since April 12 this year, when it had plunged 1,708 points.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty plummeted 353.70 points or 1.94 per cent to finish at 17,857.25.
ITC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, tumbling 5.54 per cent, a day after reporting a lower-than-estimated 10.09 per cent increase in consolidated net profit for the second quarter.
ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Titan, SBI and HDFC Bank were among the other major laggards, shedding as much as 4.39 per cent.
Only six Sensex counters managed to close in the green.
IndusInd Bank topped the gainers’ chart with a jump of 2.94 per cent after clocking a 73 per cent rise in Q2 net profit.
L&T, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, Maruti and Bajaj Finance were the other winners.
Investors lost Rs 4.82 lakh crore in Thursday’s session, with the market capitalisation of all BSE-listed companies standing at Rs 2,60,48,949.80 crore “In our view, in addition to weak global cues, unwinding of long positions especially in financials on F&O expiry, which had seen sharp rally in recent period were the prime reasons for sharp market correction today,” said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, “Bears continued to dominate domestic indices tracking cues from weak Asian and European markets ahead of a policy update from the European Central Bank.” “Globally investors are on the edge awaiting the US GDP data releasing later in the day along with the outcome of the Fed meeting scheduled for next week,” he added.
Sectorally, barring capital goods, all BSE sectoral indices notched up losses, led by realty, bankex, power, utilities and oil and gas.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices tumbled up to 1.56 per cent.
World stocks remained range-bound as investors monitored corporate earnings ahead of key central bank meetings.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with losses.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading in the red in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude slipped 1.11 per cent to USD 82.94 per barrel.
The rupee gained 11 paise to close at 74.92 against the US dollar as easing crude oil prices lent some support to the local currency.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,913.36 crore, as per exchange data.
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