Sensex tanks over 400 pts in early trade; Nifty slips below 14,800

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Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 400 points in early trade on Wednesday, dragged by losses in index majors HDFC twins, Infosys and ICICI Bank amid a negative trend in global markets.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 440.84 points or 0.88 per cent lower at 49,695.74, and the broader NSE Nifty dropped 116.05 points or 0.78 per cent to 14,729.05.

The HDFC duo was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, Infosys and Kotak Bank.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and Maruti were among the gainers.

In the previous session, Sensex ended 1,128.08 points or 2.30 per cent higher at 50,136.58, and Nifty settled at a nearly two-week high of 14,845.10.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 769.47 crore on Tuesday, as per exchange data.

Domestic equities do not look to be good at the moment. The recent announcements of night curfews by various state governments and indication of lockdown by Maharashtra authorities certainly do not augur well for equities, said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities.

He further noted that the strengthening dollar index, which already gained 1.5 per cent last week and surpassed 93 levels so far this week, can aggravate investors' concern in emerging markets including India.

US equities ended lower as concerns of rising bond yields and higher inflation once again weighed on investors' sentiments, Modi added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo were in the red in mid-session deals, while Seoul was trading marginally higher.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.45 per cent higher at USD 64.46 per barrel. PTI ANS DRR DRR