Equity benchmark Sensex fell over 1,000 points in early trade on Monday, tracking losses across the board amid a sell-off in global markets as concerns over rising Omicron affairs spooked investors. Frequent foreign fund outflows also weighed on investor sentiment.
The 30-share index closed 1,028.61 points or 1.80 per cent lower at 55,983.13 in early trade. Similarly, the Nifty closed at 16,677.70, down 307.50 points or 1.81 per cent. Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, falling nearly 4 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, SBI, NTPC, M&M and HDFC Bank.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma was the only gainer. In the previous session, the 30-share equity benchmark ended 889.40 points or 1.54 per cent lower at 57,011.74. Similarly, the NSE Nifty closed at 16,985.20, down 263.20 points or 1.53 per cent.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market as they sold shares worth Rs 2,069.90 crore on Friday, according to stock exchange data. VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said rising inflation, central bank, explosion in COVID cases, sustained selling by FIIs and slow growth momentum in developed economies shook the markets last week.
“These negative factors persist, raising concerns about a further downside in the market, especially if FIIs continue to sell. But the negative sentiment is unlikely to last long. The Omicron variant, although spreading rapidly, Has not proved to be highly viral as feared. Also, when valuations become attractive, FIIs will soon become buyers.”
Elsewhere in Asia, shares in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with heavy losses in mid-session deals as concerns over a resurgence of COVID cases weighed on global sentiment. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 2.45 per cent to $71.72 a barrel.