Investors lose over Rs 12 lakh crore in two sessions as Sensex crashes

On the Sensex chart, barring TCS, all shares closed with steep to moderate losses on Monday

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex plunged 1,747 points while the Nifty crashed below the 17,000-level on Monday as escalating Russia-Ukraine tensions sparked a retreat from riskier assets globally.

A depreciating rupee and foreign fund outflows added to the gloom, traders said.

Plunging for the second straight session, the 30-share BSE Sensex nosedived 1,747.08 points or 3 per cent to settle at 56,405.84. This was its biggest single-day drop since February 26, 2021.

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On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty plummeted 531.95 points or 3.06 per cent to 16,842.80 — closing below the key 17,000-level for the first time this year.

Sensex lost over 2500 points

The Sensex has now lost 2,520.19 points in just two sessions. Investors have lost more than Rs 12.38 lakh crore in two days, with the market capitalisation of all BSE-listed firms standing at Rs 2,55,42,725.42 crore.

On the Sensex chart, barring TCS, all shares closed with steep to moderate losses on Monday. Tata Steel was the biggest laggard, tumbling 5.49 per cent, followed by HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and Maruti.

“Increased tension between the US and Russia over Ukraine sent oil prices rising and forced investors to dump risky assets. Risk sentiment was further dampened ahead of the Fed’s emergency meeting which heightened fears of aggressive monetary tightening.

“On the domestic front, the annual WPI inflation eased marginally to 12.96 per cent in January from 13.56 per cent in December, but still high, amid moderation in the fuel and power prices,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking, said, “As anticipated, global cues are now dictating the trend and the prevailing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine combined with a steady uptick in crude is not going well with the participants. After weeks of consolidation, we feel bears are now in a more commanding position and likely to push the index further lower.”

All BSE sectoral indices suffer losses

All 19 BSE sectoral indices suffered losses, with realty, metal and banking plummeting over 5 per cent.

Broader smallcap, midcap and largecap indices shed as much as 4.15 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses closed deep in the red after concerns that Russia may soon invade Ukraine, which also sent oil prices soaring.

Markets in Europe too were trading with heavy losses in the afternoon session.

The US administration has become increasingly outspoken about its concerns that Russia will create a false pretext for the invasion of Ukraine. The US has reaffirmed its commitment to defend “every inch” of the NATO territory.

Global crude oil benchmark Brent futures spiked over 1 per cent to USD 95.44 per barrel on Monday.

The rupee plunged by 24 paise to close at 75.60 against the US currency on Monday.

Is Europe closer to war than it’s been for 70 years?

James Heappey, the UK’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, said that he believes Europe is closer to war than it has been for 70 years, the BBC reported.

“There’s 130,000 Russian troops around the borders of Ukraine, thousands more on amphibious shipping in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea,” he told the BBC.

“All of the combat enablers are in place and my fear is that if all of this was just about a show to win leverage in diplomacy that doesn’t require the logistics, the fuel, the medical supplies, the bridging assets, the unglamorous stuff that actually makes an invasion force credible, but doesn’t attract headlines. Yet all of that is now in place too.

“That’s why there’s real urgency to the diplomatic negotiations that continue,” he says.

But he adds there are still “lots of opportunities” for “compromise” and “diplomacy”.

Ukraine is calling for a meeting with Russia and other members of a key European security group as tensions grow.

It says Russia has ignored formal requests to explain the build-up of troops, the BBC reported.

Russia has denied plans to invade despite massing 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine’s borders.

Some nations warn an invasion could be imminent, with the US saying aerial bombardments could begin “at any time”.

More than a dozen countries have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine, and some have pulled embassy staff from the capital, the report said.

With inputs from agencies

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