Sensex tanks over 600 pts in early trade; Nifty slips below 14,900

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Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 600 points in opening trade on Monday, tracking losses in financial stocks amid foreign fund outflows.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 630.51 points or 1.24 per cent lower at 50,161.57, and the broader NSE Nifty was quoting 184.15 points or 1.23 per cent down at 14,846.80.

SBI was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by M&M, Dr Reddy’s Lab, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Bank.

On the other hand, Tech Mahindra and PowerGrid were the gainers.

In the previous session on Friday, the Sensex had ended 487.43 points or 0.95 per cent lower at 50,792.08, and Nifty tanked 143.85 points or 0.95 per cent to end at 15,030.95.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market as they sold shares worth Rs 942.60 crore, as per exchange data.

According to Binod Modi Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities, a sharp increase in CPI print for February and unexpected contraction in IIP data for January are expected to weigh on investors' sentiments.

Further, sharp increase in US treasury yields and recent spike in fresh COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country are likely to keep markets volatile in the near term, he said.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Seoul were in the red, while Hong Kong and Tokyo were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.74 per cent higher at USD 69.73 per barrel. PTI ANS DRR DRR