Indian equity benchmarks plunged on Thursday with the Sensex shedding over 460 points with news of the Indian Army conducting surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistani territory led investors to shun risky assets as tension between the two neighboring countries mounted.
The 30-share Sensex crashed by 465.28 points or by 1.64 per cent and then NSE Nifty ended at 8,591.25, down by 153.9 points or by 1.76 per cent. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 28,475.57 and intraday low of 27,719.92 The NSE Nifty touched intraday high of 8,800.65 and intraday low of 8,558.25.
The Indian Army on Wednesday night conducted surgical strikes across the border targeting specific terror launch pads in Pakistan, causing significant casualties for the Pakistani side. However, Pakistan denied India’s claim of surgical strikes on its soil.
Aside from increasing tensions between India and Pakistan, sentiment was also affected by volatility amid the expiry of the September derivative contracts.
Traders cast aside the announcement by the OPEC to cut output for the first time in eight years. The OPEC, a cartel which accounts for about 40 per cent of global crude supplies, at an informal meeting in Algiers on Wednesday, agreed in a preliminary deal to cut output to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels per day, easing fears of a supply glut in global markets.
The top losers of the BSE Sensex pack were Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. (down 5.01 per cent), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (down 3.84 per cent), ICICI Bank Ltd. (down 3.76 per cent), GAIL (India) Ltd. (down 3.19 per cent) and Tata Steel Ltd. (down 3.15 per cent), among others.
Realty and Power fell 6.31 per cent and 4.11 per cent, respectively.
The Market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On BSE out of total shares traded 3094, shares advanced were 514 while 2378 shares declined and 202 were unchanged.
OPEC’s surprise decision to slash output bolstered Asian stocks on Thursday. Shanghai Composite & Hang Seng rallied while Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped as a weaker yen bolstered the lure for exporter stocks.