MUMBAI: Equity indices spiralled lower for the second straight session on Friday, mirroring a global selloff as rising Delta cases and fears of earlier-than-expected Fed tapering sparked a broad retreat from riskier assets.
A depreciating rupee, which slumped 15 paise against the US dollar, added to the woes. The 30-share BSE Sensex slumped 300.17 points or 0.54 per cent to close at 55,329.32. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tumbled 118.35 points or 0.71 per cent to 16,450.50.
Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, plunging 8.27 per cent, followed by SBI, Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma, Kotak Bank, L&T and Bajaj Auto. On the other hand, HUL, Asian Paints, Nestle India, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Maruti and ITC finished in the green, climbing up to 5.37 per cent.
During the week, the Sensex declined 107.97 points or 0.19 per cent, while the Nifty slipped 78.6 points or 0.47 per cent. "Bears took control of today's volatile session as weak cues from the global markets triggered selling across all sectors except FMCG. Fast spreading Delta virus, Fed's taper plans and China's ongoing regulatory crackdown forced global markets to trade with cuts. Though the selling was broad-based, metal stocks were most affected due to a sharp plunge in iron ore futures across the world," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities, said,"Notably, indication of winding down monthly asset purchase programme in FOMC meeting minutes made investors jittery, which weighed domestic equities also. However, considering improved visibility of sustained earnings growth in subsequent quarters, a meaningful correction in quality midcap names should be bought."
Midcap and smallcap stocks remained under selling pressure, while volatility index soared around 8 per cent. Sectorally, BSE metal index plunged 6.90 per cent, followed by basic materials, realty, industrials and capital goods indices, while FMCG ended with gains.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices nosedived up to 1.91 per cent.
World stocks were hammered as rising cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus coupled with China's regulatory crackdown and fears of a sooner-than-expected tapering in monetary stimulus by the US Federal Reserve sapped risk appetite.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with heavy losses. Equities in Europe were also trading in the red in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.59 per cent to USD 66.06 per barrel. The rupee declined by 15 paise to close at 74.39 against the US currency amid strengthening of the American currency in the overseas market.