Negative Asian markets on the back of escalating geo-political tensions and heavy selling pressure in banking and auto stocks dragged key Indian equity indices — the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex — lower by almost one per cent each during the mid-afternoon trade session on Monday.
Around 12.40 p.m., the wider 51-scrip Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 79.60 points, or 0.80 per cent, to trade at 9,894.80 points.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,932.20 points, traded at 31,658.18 points — down 234.05 points or 0.73 per cent from its previous close at 31,892.23 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 31,932.20 points and a low of 31,560.32 points
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,724 declines and 725 advances.
“Indian equity benchmark indices edged lower in opening deals led by losses in pharma heavyweights Lupin, Sun Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s Labs,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
“Markets are back in the grip of a bear hug after North Korea’s nuclear bomb test on Sunday fanned the flames of geopolitical tensions. Stocks across Asia tumbled as investors rushed to safe haven assets,” he added.
On Friday, the benchmark indices closed on a higher note on hopes of a policy rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and broadly positive global cues.
The Nifty50 rose by 56.50 points, or 0.57 per cent, to close at 9,974.40 points, while the Sensex closed at 31,892.23 points — up 161.74 points or 0.51 per cent.