Sensex Drops Over 900 Points From Day’s High, Nifty Below 18,000

The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses on Monday dragged down by selling pressure in heavyweights like Infosys, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints and Tata Consultancy Services. The Sensex fell as much as 942 points from the day’s highest level and Nifty 50 index fell below its important psychological level of 18,000.

As of 10:03 am, the Sensex was down 299 points at 60,522 and Nifty 50 index declined 139 points to 17,976.

Meanwhile, Asian shares edged higher on Monday ahead of a week packed with major quarterly earnings announcements though news of trials of a property tax in China weighed on Hong Kong and mainland Chinese markets.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.26 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei lost 1 per cent on softer earnings by several local companies.

Chinese blue chips were flat, though an real estate index shed 3 per cent, while the Hong Kong benchmark gained 0.18 per cent despite a 2.6 per cent fall in an index of Hong Kong listed mainland property firms.

Back home, selling pressure was broad-based as fifteen of 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE were trading lower led by the S&P BSE Realty index’s over 3 per cent fall. Basic Materials, Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services, FMCG, Healthcare, Industrials, IT, Telecom, Utilities, Auto and Consumer Durables indexes also fell over 1 per cent each.

On the other hand, BSE Bankex advanced 1.2 per cent. Oil & Gas and Energy shares were also witnessing buying interest.

Mid- and small-cap shares were underperforming their larger peers as S&P BSE MidCap index dropped 2 per cent and SmallCap index fell 2.1 per cent.

Asian Paints was the top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3 per cent to Rs 2,891 after The Hindu BusinessLine reported that a whistleblower has alleged related party transactions by its promoters. Divi’s Labs, IndusInd Bank, Shree Cements, HCL Technologies, Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Titan, Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Grasim Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ITC and SBI Life also fell between 1.8-2.9 per cent.

On the flipside, ICICI Bank surged over 8 per cent to hit record high of Rs 827.65 after the bank reported a 29.6 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 5,511 crore on a standalone basis for the July-September quarter in the financial year 2021-22, compared to Rs 4,251.3 crore in the year-ago period. The bank’s net non-performing assets (NPAs) were Rs 8,161 crore in the September quarter, compared to Rs 9,306 crore in the preceding April-June quarter. The net NPA ratio was 0.99 per cent by the end of September 2021, compared to 1.16 per cent by June 2021.

ONGC, Axis Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Oil, NTPC, Cipla, Reliance Industries and State Bank of India were also among the notable gainers.

The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,177 shares were declining while 641 were advancing on the BSE.

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