Market benchmark Sensex crashed over 1,170 points to log its worst single-day drop in over seven months on Monday amid concerns over government's reform measures after farm laws repeal announcement and weak listing of country's largest fintech firm Paytm. Extending its losses for the fourth straight session, the BSE gauge plunged 1,170.12 points or 1.96 per cent to settle the day at 58,465.89 its lowest closing level in over two months. In terms of absolute single-session drop, this was the biggest fall since April 12 this year.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 348.25 points or 1.96 per cent to 17,416.55 marking its lowest level seen after September 20. Among top losers on the Sensex were, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Titan and SBI diving as much as 5.74 per cent.
Reliance Industries sank over 4 per cent, after the company shelved a proposed deal to sell a 20 per cent stake in its oil refinery and petrochemical business to Saudi Aramco for an asking of USD 15 billion. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints and PowerGrid managed to clock gains.
One97 Communications, Paytm's parent firm, tumbled over 13 per cent to close at 1,360.30 a share on the BSE. Sectorally, BSE realty, energy, consumer durables, auto, oil and gas, and finance indices fell up to 4.45 per cent, while telecom and metal indices ended with gains.
Broader midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 2.96 per cent. "Finally the bears got their act together after a long wait as a series of events over the weekend gave them the upper hand with almost all the sectoral indices barring the metal index plunging, said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.
The repealing of the agriculture laws had an impact on the PSU stocks while the O2C deal not going through left a 4.5 per cent cut on Reliance, he noted. Further, he said that even as IPO investors come to terms with the reality, the inflationary impact on demand across several sectors continues to worry the street.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, "Subdued listing and continuation of weak trading of Paytm, India's largest new generation fintech, is a big sentimental setback to the domestic market, which was thriving on the strong primary market. It will impact the inflow of money from the retail segment, which has been a key player during the year.
Weak inflow from FIIs will possibly get higher due to the withdrawal of three agriculture farm acts which brings a stoppage to government's reformist agendas in context to coming state elections next year, he said adding that it was a key factor for India to trade at a premium to EMs during the year.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong ended with losses, while Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul were positive. Stock exchanges in Europe were largely positive in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.34 per cent to USD 79.16 per barrel. On the domestic forex market front, the Indian rupee fell by 9 paise to close at 74.39 against the US dollar.