Sensex plummets over 1,400 pts in morning trade; financial stocks tank

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Mumbai, Apr 5 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 1,400 points in the morning session on Monday, dragged by massive losses in financial stocks amid concerns over spiking COVID-19 cases in the country.

After touching a low of 48,580.80, the 30-share BSE index was trading 1,254.49 points or 2.51 per cent lower at 48,775.34, and the broader NSE Nifty sank 349.40 points or 2.35 per cent to 14,517.95.

IndusInd Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking over 6 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, Infosys, HCL Tech, TCS and Infosys were the gainers.

Markets opened gap down following strict guidelines issued in Maharashtra amidst rising coronavirus cases with financial and rate-sensitive stocks taking indices down close to 2.5 per cent, said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

According to Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities, banks, which started seeing steady improvement in asset quality and improvement in credit costs, may see further delay in credit cycle recovery and pressure in asset quality if business restrictions are imposed by more number of states due to steep rise in COVID-19 cases.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Seoul and Tokyo were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia were closed for holidays.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.46 per cent lower at USD 63.91 per barrel.

On the currency front, the India rupee was trading 29 paise lower against the US dollar at 73.41. PTI ANS DRR DRR