Equities tanked massively today amid profit-booking in expectations of volatility on derivatives expiry while banks came under selling pressure ahead of RBI’s credit policy as the market benchmark Sensex logged biggest single-day fall in five weeks to slip below 25,000-mark.
The 50-share Nifty also cracked below the 7,700-mark with a plunge of over 101 points.
After four straight session of gains and a long break, the trading opened with a gap-up note amid higher Asian cues.
Absence of definite cues as most European markets remained closed for an extended Easter Holiday against the background of some members of the US Federal Reserve taking a hawkish tone, affected sentiment.
“On a surprising note the market is underperforming in spite of a strong case for rate cut which should have provided support on the downside,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit BNP Paribas.
Buyers looked hesitant, given the long list of event risks lined up in the next fortnight, added Geojit BNP Paribas’s Anand James.
The 30-share Sensex opened higher at 25,417.11 and hovered between 25,432.94 and 24,895.49 before ending at 24,966.40, showing a fall of 371.16 points or 1.46 per cent. The index gained 660.19 points in the previous four sessions.
Exchanges had remained closed on Thursday and Friday for ‘Holi’ and ‘Good Friday’, respectively.
The unveiling of the much-awaited Defence Procurement Policy by Union Minister Manohar Parrikar was sidelined as across-the-board profit-booking was witnessed led by metals, healthcare, realty, consumer durables, telecom, capital goods and industrials sectors.
In stock specific action, Tata Steel bore the brunt by tumbling 5.23 per cent to Rs 300.05, followed by SBI by 4.24 per cent to Rs 188.45 and Sun Pharma by 4.20 per cent to Rs 811.05.
Natco Pharma nosedived nearly 13 per cent after the firm received 483 observations from the USFDA after inspection of its two manufacturing facilities.
Lloyd Electric and Engineering ended with 2.5 per cent gains after the company announced the acquisition of Noske-Kaeser’s rail and vehicles business in select markets for 2.3 million euros.
Indices in China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan fell by 0.06 per cent to 0.73 per cent while Japan rose by 0.77 per cent. Hong Kong market was closed today.
Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 17 scrips ended lower while three gained.
Major losers were Tata Steel (5.23 pc), SBI (4.24 pc), Sun Pharma (4.20 pc), ICICI Bank (3.86 pc), Tata Motors (3.63 pc), Axis Bank (3.37 pc), BHEl (2.92 pc), L&T (2.89 pc), Maruti (2.61 pc), Bharti Airtel (2.34 pc), HDFC (1.92 pc), Lupin (1.92 pc), Cipla (1.51 pc) and Coal India (1.36 pc).
However, NTPC rose by 1.06 per cent followed by GAIL 0.42 per cent and Bajaj Auto 0.04 per cent.
Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, losers were realty 4.35 per cent, metal (3.92 pc), consumer durables (3.48 pc), telecom (2.21 pc), capital goods (2.08 pc), industrials (2.03 pc), healthcare (1.95 pc) and bankex (1.92 pc).
The market breadth remained negative as 1,942 shares ended lower, 743 closed higher while 167 ruled steady.
The total turnover fell to Rs 2,741.47 crore from Rs 3,105.87 crore on last Wednesday.