The Indian equity benchmarks nosedived on Wednesday mirroring selloff in global equity markets as soaring oil prices raised more concerns about how Russia’s escalating war on Ukraine may impact the global economy. The Sensex fell as much as 936 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 16,547.
As of 10:01 am, the Sensex was down 849 points or 1.51 per cent at 55,397 and Nifty 50 index dropped 209 points to 16,584.
Japan's Nikkei dropped nearly 2 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.1 per cent and Taiwan Weighted fell 0.34 per cent.
Overnight, the S&P 500 index fell 1.5 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8 per cent and the Nasdaq composite slid 1.6 per cent. The declines add to the market’s losses after a two-month skid to start the year, news agency AP reported.
Back home, selling pressure was visible across the board, barring oil & gas and metal shares, all the sectors were trading lower led by Nifty Bank index's over 2 per cent fall. Nifty Financial Services, Private Bank and Realty indices also fell between 0.8-2 per cent.
Oil & gas and metal shares were witnessing buying interest in the backdrop of rising base metal and crude prices in international markets.
"The Russia-Ukraine conflict has resulted in a global risk-off, with equity markets undergoing intermittent bouts of correction and elevated volatility. The uncertainty over the duration and magnitude of the extant conflict could keep the market jittery and dependent on news flow. From India’s viewpoint, a sharp spike in crude oil prices (Brent crossed USD100/barrel before retreating) poses key risks on the external balance front and can play spoilsport with the assumptions made in the FY23 Union Budget. For now, the sanctions imposed on Russia have excluded the Oil trade. While these are early days into the conflict, higher crude oil prices, if sustained for an elevated duration, can result in higher inflation, current account deficit, bond yields, and interest rates in India and thus impact macro-economic stability," brokerage firm Motilal Oswal said in a note to its clients.
ICICI Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock declined 3.8 per cent to Rs 714. Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints,, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement, Bharti Airtel, Shree Cements and Hindustan Unilever also fell between 1.85-3.8 per cent.
On the flipside, Coal India, Hindalco, Tata Steel, ONGC, JSW Steel, UPL, SBI Life, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bharat Petroleum were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,523 shares were advancing while 1,356 were declining on the BSE.