· Sensex crashes 1,546 pts, Nifty below 17,150 amid US Fed uncertainty
· BSE IPO index plunges 7% as Zomato, Nykaa tank up to 20%
· 921 stocks freeze at lower circuit on the BSE
· Sharda Cropchem hits record high on robust Q3 earnings
Dalal Street witnessed carnage on Monday with benchmark indices falling the most since April last year in intra-day deals. Panic selling amid uncertainty around the likely interest hikes by the US Federal Reserve spooked the markets.
The frontline BSE Sensex crashed nearly 2,000 points intra-day before staging a mild recovery to end 1,546 points, or 2.6%, down at 57,491.
On the NSE, the Nifty50 ended at 17,149, down 468 points or 2.7%, with only two stocks – Cipla and ONGC – managing to end in the green. Earlier in the day, it had slipped below the 17,000 mark, hitting a low of 16,998.
Among large-cap players, JSW Steel and Tata Steel plunged up to 7%, while Bajaj Finance, Grasim, Hindalco, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Titan, and Reliance shed between 5% and 6% on the bourses.
The broader markets were the worst hit as they underperformed the benchmarks by logging significantly higher losses. The BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices lost 3.8% and 4.4%, respectively. From the latter, Astral, Godrej Properties, Vodafone Idea, Gland Pharma, and Zee Entertainment were among the top losers.
Overall, over 3,000 stocks declined on the BSE, while just 513 stocks managed to end higher. The volatility gauge – India VIX – also surged 20.8% to 22.8, indicating a high level of nervousness among investors ahead of the Union Budget.
Meanwhile, a total of 921 stocks were locked in their respective lower circuits, as against 259 stocks that were in their upper circuits.
Sectorally, all indices ended with sharp losses, led by the Nifty Realty, Metal, IT and Consumer Durable indices, down 6%, 5%, 4% and 3.4%, respectively. Oil & Gas, Financials, Auto and FMCG indices ended 2% lower each.
On the BSE, the IPO index closed 7% lower, as the recently listed stocks were also hammered amid a heavy sell-off in the markets. Zomato, Nykaa, MapmyIndia and Policybazaar ended 19.6%, 13%, and 10% lower, respectively. All these stocks hit their respective all-time lows since their listing on the market.
On the flip side, agrochemical company Sharda Cropchem was a major outlier in today's session, ending 15.5% higher on the BSE after it hit a new all-time high on the back of robust Q3 numbers. The company's net profit more than doubled to Rs 102 crore in the December quarter, while its revenue grew 78% year on year to Rs 879.8 crore, led by strong volume growth.
On Tuesday, auto major Maruti Suzuki, drugmaker Cipla and Torrent Pharma, along with Macrotech Developers and SRF, are likely to be in focus as investors will watch their Q3 earnings.
The Federal Reserve’s meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday may also keep the markets on the edge as investors await clues on when and how the central bank might raise interest rates this year.