The domestic equity market on Monday, January 24, logged the steepest single-day drop in about two months, with the benchmark Sensex crashing nearly 1,546 points to crack below the 58,000-level due to panic selling across counters tracking subdued global stocks. The BSE Sensex started the session on a weak note and got further overwhelmed by panic selling as the trade progressed and tanked over 2,050 points to touch the day's low at 56,984. Recouping some lost ground towards the fag-end, the index finally settled at 57,491.51 clocking a massive 1,545.67 points or 2.62% drop. Likewise, the NSE Nifty slumped 468.05 points or 2.66% to settle at 17,149.10.
This was the biggest single-session fall for both Sensex and Nifty since November 26 last year and also the fifth straight session of loss for the indices. On the Sensex chart, Tata Steel was the top loser, shedding around 6 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Titan, Reliance Industries and HCL Tech.
"The Indian markets have been under significant pressure in the past few days, correcting by 7 per cent from the recent highs, after a smart pullback seen since mid-December. It has been a quite broad-based correction across sectors and marketcaps, although the more expensively valued names and the recent IPO new age companies have seen a sharper cut, Milind Muchhala, Executive Director, Julius Baer, said.
The weakness largely mimics the rot in the global markets over the past couple of weeks, especially in the US markets, on continuing concerns of sticky inflation and Fed's action/rhetoric, he added.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said,''Sell-off in global markets, weak Q3 results and pre-budget nervousness triggered heavy sell-off in the domestic bourses as risk sentiment took a blow ahead of the FOMC meeting starting tomorrow.
Investors are keenly awaiting the result of the two-day Fed meeting where the US Central Bank is expected to provide more guidance on its rate hike plans, he added. While all sectors hit rough weather, stocks of the new age tech companies were the most affected due to drop in growth of profitability amid expensive valuations, Nair said.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Seoul ended with losses, while Tokyo and Shanghai were positive. Equities in Europe were witnessing intense selling pressure in mid-session deals. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.3% to USD 88.17 per barrel. On the forex market front, the rupee weakened by 17 paise to end at 74.60 against the US dollar on Monday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 3,148.58 crore on Friday, according to stock exchange data.