Benchmark indices sank for the fifth session on the trot on Thursday, with the Sensex and Nifty tanking over 2 per cent each, tracking extremely weak global trends and selling in index majors HDFC twins, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank. Unabated selling by foreign institutional investors also continued to weigh on sentiments. Moreover, investors remained cautious ahead of announcement of inflation rate for April and industrial production data for March.
The 30-share BSE Sensex tumbled 1,158.08 points or 2.14 per cent to end below the 53,000-level at 52,930.31. During the day, it plummeted 1,386.09 points or 2.56 per cent to 52,702.30. The NSE Nifty plunged 359.10 points or 2.22 per cent to settle at 15,808. "Undoubtedly, the biggest negative catalyst continues to be inflation all over global economies. The anxiety at stock markets across globe is on the backdrop Federal Reserve’s next strategy on interest rates...," said Prashanth Tapse, Vice President (Research), Mehta Equities.
From the Sensex firms, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC, Titan, NTPC and State Bank of India were among the major laggards. In contrast, Wipro and HCL Technologies were the only gainers. Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai settled sharply lower.
Equity markets in Europe were quoting with sharp cuts in the afternoon session. Stock exchanges in the US had ended lower on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 2.02 per cent to USD 105.7 per barrel. Continuing their selling spree, foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 3,609.35 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.