The Indian equity benchmarks nosedived on Friday mirroring losses in global markets after Russian invasion of Ukraine intensified as the Russian forces shelled Europe’s largest nuclear plant early on Friday. The Sensex fell as much as 909 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 16,250. Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, Axis Bank and Maruti Suzuki were among the top drags on the Sensex.
As of 9:39 am, the Sensex was down 694 points at 54,409 and Nifty 50 index dropped 234 points to 16,264.
Russian forces shelled Europe’s largest nuclear plant early Friday, sparking a fire as they pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city and gained ground in their bid to cut off the country from the sea.
The world’s leading nuclear authorities saw no immediate cause for alarm about damage to the facility, but the assault triggered a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the U.S. Department of Energy activated its nuclear incident response team as a precaution.
Back home, selling pressure was broad based as all the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Auto index's 2.5 per cent fall.
Nifty Bank, Financial Services, IT, FMCG, Pharma, Private Bank, Realty, Healthcare and Consumer Durable indices also fell between 1-2 per cent.
Broader markets were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indices fell 1 per cent each.
Asian Paints was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 5 per cent to Rs 2,729 analysts say selling pressure in Asian Paints is on the back of rising crude prices adversely impacting its margins going ahead.
Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Eicher Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Tata Consumer Products, Tata Motors, Axis Bank and HDFC Life also fell between 2-4 per cent.
On the flipside, Tata Steel, ITC, NTPC, JSW Steel, UPL and Hindalco were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,760 shares were declining while 1,053 were advancing on the BSE.