The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes crashed on Thursday and broke their 10-day winning streak as global markets retreated after a record number of new coronavirus infections in parts of Europe led investors to shift away from risky assets to traditional safe havens such as gold and the Japanese yen. The Sensex dropped as much as 1,127 points and Nifty 50 index crashed to touch an intraday low of 11,661.30. Profit booking after 10 days of gains and heightened volatility due to weekly expiry of index derivatives added to the selling pressure during the session, analysts said.
The Sensex dropped 1,066 points or 2.61 per cent to close at 39,728 and Nifty 50 index slumped 291 points or 2.43 per cent to close at 11,680.
Concerns that resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic could lead governments to again shut down economies spurred profit-taking, particularly after the recent stock rally. In Europe, Germany’s DAX index dropped 3 per cent, France’s CAC40 and England’s FTSE 100 indexes fell over 2 per cent each.
Back home, selling pressure was visible across sectors as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty Bank index’s over 3 per cent slump. Nifty Auto, PSU Bank, Private Bank, Financial Services, Pharma and Information Technology indexes also fell between 2.5-3 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes fell 1.7 per cent each.
Forty seven of 50 shares in the Nifty 50 basket ended lower. Bajaj Finance was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 5 per cent to close at Rs 3,204. Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Tata Motors and HCL Technologies fell between 3-4 per cent each.
On the flipside, Asian Paints, JSW Steel and Coal India were among the only gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 1,823 shares ended lower while 816 closed higher on the BSE.
(With inputs from Reuters)