The benchmark BSE Sensex cracked over 300 points in early trade Monday tracking losses in index heavyweights RIL, HDFC and ICICI Bank, amid weak global cues, sinking rupee and soaring crude oil prices. The 30-share index was trading 309.56 points or 0.79 per cent lower at 38,830.72. The NSE Nifty too plunged to 101.80 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 11,651. In the previous session Thursday, the BSE bourse settled 135.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, lower at 39,140.28. The broader Nifty slipped 34.35 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 11,752.80. Stock market was closed Friday on account of Good Friday. Yes Bank and Reliance Industries were the biggest losers in the Sensex pack, dropping up to 2.66 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, Kotak Bank, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Maruti, M&M, Bajaj Finance and SBI, shedding up to 1.72 per cent.
Bucking weak market trend, TCS, PowerGrid, HCL Tech, Infosys, HDFC Bank and NTPC rose up to 1.31 per cent. "After a period of significant momentum ahead of the general elections, the market may take a pause in some kind of an interim profit booking," said Joseph Thomas-Head Research, Emkay Wealth Management. The accelerating scenario of a slowdown in global growth as also the definitive prospects of higher fuel prices and a weaker currency may also be working on the minds of the market participants at this juncture, he added. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth Rs 1,038.46 crore on Thursday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 337.59 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
The rupee depreciated nearly 50 paise to 69.84 against the US dollar in early trade.Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, was 2.06 per cent higher at USD 73.84 per barrel. Elsewhere in Asia, benchmark equity indices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were trading in the red in early trade.