Equity benchmark Sensex fell by over 1,300 points in early trade on Monday, over massive across-the-board selloff as mounting COVID-19 cases spooked investor sentiment. The 30-share BSE index was trading 1,318.21 points or 2.70 per cent lower at 47,513.82. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 394.90 points or 2.70 per cent to 14,222.95.
All Sensex components were in the red. Bajaj Auto was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping over 5 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, SBI, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance and Axis Bank.
In the previous session, Sensex ended 28.35 points or 0.06 per cent higher at 48,832.03, and Nifty rose 36.40 points or 0.25 per cent to 14,617.85. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 437.51 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.
"The health crisis India is going through and localised lockdowns and restrictions on economic activity warrant a market correction," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
The targets of around 11 per cent GDP growth and above 30 per cent earnings growth for FY 22, that the market had assumed pre-second wave are likely to fall short, he added.
The steady rise in COVID positive cases and the steady decline in recovery rates are areas of serious concern, he noted. Active COVID-19 cases in India stood at 19,29,329, up from 18,01,316 cases registered on Sunday, according to Union Health Ministry data.
"But, this negativity need not reflect fully in the market since the global clues are positive. The sharp recovery in global growth led by the US and China augur well for markets globally."
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.49 per cent lower at USD 66.44 per barrel.