The Indian equity benchmark indices fell for the second straight session on Tuesday, led by selling pressure in banking, metal and financial services. The Sensex fell as much as 540 points at the lowest point of the day and Nifty 50 index briefly fell below its important psychological level of 15,600. Weak global markets added to the nervous sentiment on the Dalal Street. Asian stocks widened their losses as investor sentiment dampened further amid growing fears that the spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus would harm the global economic recovery, sending riskier assets skidding sharply.
The Sensex ended 355 points lower at 52,198.51 and Nifty 50 index fell 120 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 15,632.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all 11 sector gauges, barring the index of FMCG shares ended lower led by the Nifty Realty index’s 2.6 per cent fall. The Nifty Bank, Private Bank, PSU Bank, Metal and Financial Services indices also fell 1.8-2.5 per cent each.
Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes fell 1.4 per cent each.
Shares of Adani Group companies lost between 0.4 per cent and 5 per cent on the news that securities regulator and customs authorities were investigating some of the group companies for non-compliance of rules.
Shares of IT services company HCL Technologies fell 2.1 per cent after its quarterly revenues missed analysts’ expectations, while cement company ACC rose as much as 7 per cent due to a two-fold jump in consolidated net profit for the second quarter ended June 2021.
Hindalco was top Nifty loser; the stock fell nearly 4 per cent to close at Rs 382. IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, BTPC, Bharti Airtel, UPL, HCL Technologies, HDFC Life, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank and JSW Steel also fell 2.2-3.2 per cent each on the Nifty.
On the flip side, Asian Paints surged 5.5 per cent to close at Rs 3,145 as its revenues in June quarter nearly doubled to Rs 5,585 crore.
UltraTech Cement, Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki, Grasim Industries, Bajaj Auto and Nestle India were also among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,094 shares ended lower while 1,140 closed higher on the BSE.