The Indian equity benchmarks staged a gap down opening on Friday on the back of weak global cues amid selling pressure across the board. The Sensex fell as much as 548 points to hit an intraday low of 58,578 and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 17,500. Asian markets were trading lower with Japan’s Nikkei falling 2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declining 0.4 per cent and Taiwan Weighted index down 1.4 per cent.
Overnight, the Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst month since the onset of the global health crisis, following a tumultuous month and quarter wracked by concerns over COVID-19, inflation fears and budget wrangling in Washington.
As of 9:22 am, the Sensex fell 526 points to 58,600 and Nifty 50 index dropped 142 points to 17,476.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Metal index’s 1.4 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Auto, Media, PSU Bank, Private Bank and Consumer Durables indexes also fell in the range of 0.7-1.2 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 0.51 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.3 per cent.
Maruti Suzuki was the top Nifty loser, shares of the country’s largest car maker fell as much as 3.3 per cent to hit an intraday low of Rs 7,097.65 after the company informed exchanges that it is expecting adverse impact on vehicle production in the month of October in Haryana and Gujarat due to shortage of semiconductors.
Hindalco, Bajaj Finserv, Asian Paints, Adani Ports, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, Titan, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance, JSW Steel, Tata Motors and Shree Cements also fell between 1-2 per cent.
On the flipside, ONGC, Indian Oil, Power Grid, Coal India, Bharat Petroleum, Coal India, Mahindra & Mahindra, NTPC and Divi’s Labs were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was marginally positive as 1,348 shares were advancing while 1,197 were declining on the BSE.