The biggest fall in Sensex in more than three months was triggered by a global sell-off prompted by renewed worries of an economic slowdown in China and the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
To make things worse, India’s domestic manufacturing sector output shrunk to a 28-month low in December combined with the rupee weakening further spooked the investors which led to a panic sell-off.
All Asian indices opened in the red, including the Sensex which tanked 190 points in opening trade. On Monday morning, a private survey revealed that the Chinese factory data had contracted for a fifth straight month. The news that the world’s second largest economy was set to post its weakest growth in a quarter of a century, led to a global sell-off.
From the onset, Sensex remained in the negative zone and settled 2.05 per cent down at 25,623.35, its weakest closing since September 22. The index washed away all the gains it picked up in the last two days of trade.
The NSE Nifty fell below the 7,800-mark by losing 171.90 points or 2.16 per cent. The index had last logged its biggest single-day fall of 185.45 points on September 1.
As many as 27 stocks out of the 30-pack Sensex ended in the red.
The broader markets too came under selling pressure with the mid-cap index falling 1.20 per and small-cap dropping 1.11 per cent.
Heavyweights like Tata Motors suffered the most and tumbled 6.10 per cent. Bharti Airtel followed and fell by 4.10 per cent. Adani Ports, BHEL, HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank, L&T, GAIL, Axis Bank and Sun Pharma, all suffered massive losses.
Shanghai plunged a record 7 per cent on Monday afternoon. Trading had to be halted for the rest of the day after the massive fall. Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 3.06 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.68 per cent. European markets were also down in their early trade.
(With inputs from PTI)