Benchmark equity indices opened with heavy losses Tuesday as investors were on edge ahead of the final assembly election results from five states, amid plummeting rupee after RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s unexpected resignation. The Sensex opened over 500 points lower. It was trading 517.97 points, or 1.48 per cent, down at 34,441.75.
In similar movement, the NSE Nifty dropped below the 10,400 mark, slumping 144.05 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 10,344.40.
The Sensex tumbled 714 points, or 2 per cent, to close at 34,959.72 in Monday’s session. The Nifty too fell 205.25 points, or 1.92 per cent, to end at 10,488.45.
“The markets are already in a down trend. They have discounted a 3-0 white wash. If even one state goes the BJP way, it will result in short-covering,” said VK Sharma, Head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy, HDFC Securities.
“As far as the RBI Governor’s resignation is concerned, it alone has the ability to knock off 200 points from the Nifty,” he pointed out.
“Vijay Mallya’s extradition order by UK court is positive for the markets, but will provide some cushion only later on when he actually lands in India,” he added.
Besides nervousness over election results, the plunging rupee also weighed on investor sentiment here, traders said.
The rupee opened 112 paise, or 1.50 per cent, down at 72.44 after the unexpected resignation of the Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel Monday, four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government.
Capital markets regulator Sebi and the stock exchanges have stepped up their surveillance systems to keep manipulative forces in check amid an extreme volatility expected during the day due to Patel’s resignation and the state assembly results.
After a sharp plunge of over 700 points in the benchmark Sensex on Monday tracking the exit poll results for five states, analysts have warned that the final results showing declining votes for the ruling BJP and Patel’s resignation could trigger even a bigger loss for the markets on Tuesday.
Top losers in the session were IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Adani Ports, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank and Hero MotoCorp, falling up to 4 per cent.
While, Yes Bank bucked weak market trend, rising up to 5 per cent. SBI and NTPC were other gainers.
Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 0.27 per cent up at USD 60.13 per barrel.
On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 116.22 crore Monday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 145.80 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat, Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.56 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.28 per cent in early trade.
On Wall Street, The Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 34.31 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 24,423.26 on Monday.