New Delhi, India (BBN)-The stock market benchmark Sensex plunged by more than 1,000 points and the rupee nosedived to a two-year low in early morning trade on Monday, tracking big falls in their Asian counterparts as a rout in Chinese equities sparked widespread unrest in global financial markets.
Asian markets were also in deep red with Shanghai shares crashing 8 per cent on concerns that the Chinese economy was slowing more than previously thought, reports the Hindustan Times.
Taking cues from global markets, the Sensex nosedived 1,006.54 points, or 3.67 per cent, to 26,359.53 — the biggest fall in-day trade in 2015.
The rupee also fell to new two year lows; it opened at 66.47 to the dollar, the lowest since September 2013 and is now at 66.50.
The broader NSE Nifty also dipped below the 8,000-level by tumbling 309.05 points, or 3.72 per cent to 7990.90 in early trade.
All 50 constituents of Nifty were in red with Tata Motors and ONGC losing the most up to 6 per cent.
Brokers said sentiments suffered a jolt following a sell-off in other Asian markets with over 8 per cent plunge in Shanghai index.
The 30-share Sensex, which had closed at 27,366 points on Friday, opened on Monday sharply lower at 26,730 points.
The scare was more or less expected.
In a note Bernard Aw, leading market strategist at IG, one of Singapore’s largest forex trading houses said: “We are going to see a fearful Asia today. Risk selling activity is expected to blanket the regional markets. Geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula are going to add to weak sentiments.”
The jitters have also been led by concerns of a slowdown in China where news about freight rates dropping by 10.9 per cent — indicating fewer movement of goods – and a fall in real estate prices, are sending signals to foreign investors.
Prospects of tensions on the Korean peninsula, in the wake of an aggressive North Korean government have also compounded matters.
Among major Sensex losers, ICICI Bank fell by 4.5 per cent, Infosys by 3 per cent, Axis Bank by 5.3 per cent, Reliance by 4 per cent and HDFC by 3 per cent.
Tata Motors fell by over 6 per cent.
Vedanta and GAIL Ltd also fell up to 6 per cent.
At 0930 hrs, the Sensex was down 848.77, or 3.1 per cent, at 26,517.30 points.
The 50-share Nifty was down 267.10 points, or 3.22 per cent, at 8,032.85 with all the constituents in the negative.
Meanwhile, crude prices fell after slipping below US $40 barrel for the first time in six years after weak Chinese manufacturing data.
Among other Asian markets, Shanghai Composite dived 8.35 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 3.10 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 3.26 per cent.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 3.12 per cent down in Friday’s trade.