On Friday, there was a sea of red on Dalal Street as benchmark equity indexes fell nearly 3 per cent. The market value of the BSE listed firms declined to Rs 258.30 lakh crore from Rs 265.67 lakh crore on Thursday, leading to a loss of more than 7.37 lakh crore.
The market sentiment turned cautious as a new variant of coronaviruses in South Africa and subdued global cues spooked sentiment. The 30 share BSE Sensex plunged 1,687. 94 points, or 2.87 per cent, were achieved at 57,107. The 50-share NSE Nifty index was down 509.80 points, or 2.91 per cent, lower than 17,026, according to the 50-share Nifty index. As many as 47 stocks fell in the Business Today top 50 list.
JSW Steel came in with 48 per cent of the top loser. The company's shares fell from Rs 50.90 to Rs 630. It was followed by Tata Motors down 6.77 per cent, Adani Ports down 6.22 per cent, Bharat Petroleum down 5.67 per cent and Maruti Suzuki India up 2.92 per cent and Hindustan Zinc up 0.11 per cent.
Amit Gupta, fund manager-PMS, said that recent market weakness has resulted in recent market weakness due to the new variant of Coronaviruses and expectations of the US increasing the pace of tapering. This trend may take some time to recover as the WHO meeting on the new mutant variant impact and hospitalization rates in the US and Europe will be watched by the market very closely. India is on a higher earnings growth trajectory and this is the only major risk that can spoil the sentiments. He added that the current dollar strength suggests the risk-off sentiments and is currently leading to FII flows.
Foreign equity investors have offloaded shares worth Rs 3,619 so far in the domestic equity market. They bought shares worth Rs 2.74 lakh crore last fiscal.
Barring the BSE Healthcare index, up 1.8 per cent, other sectoral indexes on the exchange settled in losses. The BSE Realty, Metal, Auto and Oil Gas index fell between 3 per cent and 7 per cent.
Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services, said domestic markets plunged into negative territory after weak global peers, because of the new variant of Covid in South Africa. There was an increase in inflation fears coupled with worries of an aggressive policy tightening by the US Fed Reserve that added to today's catastrophic session. There was a broad sell-off on the domestic front as investors dumped Covid-sensitive stocks while the focus was shifted to the pharma sector amid growing concerns over the new variant with higher mutations.