Sensex drops over 400 pts; Nifty tumbles below 8,200

Mumbai, Apr 3 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 400 points in early trade on Friday led by losses in banking and auto stocks as investor sentiment continued to be weighed down by the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact.

After hitting a low of 27,800.07, the 30-share BSE barometer was trading 375.34 points or 1.33 per cent lower at 27,889.97.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 105.35 points, or 1.28 per cent, to 8,148.45.

Kotak Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, cracking up to 7 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paints, Titan and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, PowerGrid, ONGC, HCL Tech and Sun Pharma were the gainers.

In the previous session on Wednesday, the 30-share BSE barometer Sensex slumped 1,203.18 points or 4.08 per cent to finish at 28,265.31. Similarly, the NSE Nifty tanked 343.95 points, or 4 per cent, to close at 8,253.80.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 1,116.79 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Market was closed on Thursday on account of Ram Navami’.

With fresh cases of novel coronavirus mounting by the day, concerns over a looming economic recession are keeping investors on edge, traders said.

The number of COVID-19 cases in India has stood at over 2,500, according to health ministry log.

Global tally of the infections has crossed one million, with over 53,000 deaths.

On the global front, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong were in the red, while those in Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a positive note.

Benchmark exchanges on Wall Street ended significantly higher in overnight trade.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 47 paise to 76.07 against the US dollar in morning trade.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 3.44 per cent to USD 28.91 per barrel.

Oil futures had rocketed over 30 percent Thursday after US President Donald Trump tweeted that he expected Russia and Saudi Arabia to end a price war by slashing crude output.

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