Sensex tanks 740 pts amid F&O expiry; Nifty sinks below 14,400

Maruti was the top loser in the Sensex pack.

Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 740 points on Thursday, dragged by losses in index majors Reliance Industries, Infosys and HDFC Bank as monthly derivatives expired amid weak cues from global markets.

The 30-share BSE index ended 740.19 points or 1.51 % lower at 48,440.12, and the broader NSE Nifty declined 224.50 points or 1.54 % to 14,324.90.

Maruti was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 4 %, followed by Bharti Airtel, HUL, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement, ONGC and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, Dr Reddy’s, ICICI Bank, L&T and HDFC were the gainers.

"Domestic equities fell for the third consecutive day despite favourable cues from Asian markets as prevailing concerns with regards to sharp rise in COVID-19 cases have clearly dented investors’ sentiments," said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Barring financials and metals, all key sectoral indices ended in red.

Further, futures and options (F&O) expiry factor also contributed to volatility, he noted, adding that market capitalisation of domestic market slipped below ₹ 200 trillion first time after February 3, 2021, resulting in wealth erosion of over ₹ 5 trillion in last two days.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong were in the red, while Tokyo and Seoul ended on a positive note.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.35 % lower at USD 63.54 per barrel.

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