Sensex tanks 900 points to slip below 73k amid broad-based selloff; smallcap, midcap tumble

Equity benchmark index Sensex on Wednesday crashed over 900 points to sink below the 73,000 level due to widespread selling pressure amid a sharp fall in smallcap and midcap indices.

Besides, deep losses in utility, energy and metal stocks and recent selling by foreign investors added to the gloom, analysts said.

Benchmark indices started the session on a positive note, but the selling intensified during afternoon trade, with all sectoral indices ending in the red.

The 30-share index tanked 906.07 points or 1.23 per cent to settle at 72,761.89. During the day, it dropped 1,152.25 points or 1.56 per cent to 72,515.71.

The Nifty plummeted 338 points or 1.51 per cent to 21,997.70.

Power Grid was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, sliding over 7 per cent, followed by NTPC, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, JSW Steel, Bharti Airtel, Titan, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Unilever.

In contrast, ITC, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Nestle, Bajaj Finance and HDFC Bank were the gainers.

“In contrast to the global uptrend, the unfavourable risk-reward balance of mid and smallcap stocks, fuelled by prolonged premium valuations, has aggravated the downfall. Meanwhile, FMCG and contrarian plays like gold are offering some refuge. Other than the premium valuation no fundamental issue is noticed to drawback the long-term growth image of domestic midcaps,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge tanked by 5.11 per cent, while the midcap index declined by 4.20 per cent.

In Asian markets, Seoul settled in the green, while Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended lower.

European markets were trading mostly in the green. The US markets ended with significant gains on Tuesday.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth ₹73.12 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 1.09 per cent to $82.81 a barrel.

India’s industrial production growth slowed to 3.8 per cent in January, while the February retail inflation at 5.09 per cent remained within the Reserve Bank’s comfort zone for the sixth straight month, according to the latest government data.

The BSE benchmark ended 165.32 points or 0.22 per cent higher at 73,667.96 on Tuesday. The Nifty ended flat at 22,335.70, up 3.05 points or 0.01 per cent.

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