Indian equity benchmarks crashed on Monday as investor sentiment was dented by rising cases of the Omicron variant over the weekend. The Sensex dropped over 1,000 points and Nifty 50 index briefly tumbled below its important psychological level of 16,900. India has so far reported 21 cases of Omicron variant – nine from Rajasthan, eight from Maharashtra, two from Karnataka (including a South African man who “fled” to Dubai), and one each in Gujarat and Delhi.
The Sensex fell 949 points or 1.65 per cent to close at 56,747 and Nifty 50 index declined 284 points or 1.65 per cent to close at 16,912.
“If the market is unable to sustain the market levels of 16,800, we will witness correction to continue in the market till the level of 16,400. Technical indicators suggest a volatile movement in the market advise the traders to refrain from building fresh buying positions,” said Vijay Dhanotiya, senior research analyst at CapitalVia Global Research.
Meanwhile, the three-day monetary policy committee meeting of Reserve Bank of India started on Monday. According to a Reuters poll of economists, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hold rates at its December meeting and hike its reverse repo rate early next year and increase repo rate the following quarter.
Selling pressure was so intense that all the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by Nifty Information Technology index’s nearly 3 per cent decline. Nifty Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Pharma, Private Bank, Metal, Bank, Auto and FMCG indices also fell between 1-1.8 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 1.42 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 1.1 per cent.
IndusInd Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.7 per cent to Rs 916. Tata Consumer Products, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Tata Motors, Wipro, Divi’s Labs, Infosys and Grasim Industries also fell between 2-3.4 per cent.
UPL was the tonly gainer in the Nifty 50 basket of shares.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,002 shares ended lower while 1,419 ended higher on the BSE.