Sensex plunges more than 500 points, Rupee falls below 72 mark, crash wipes out over Rs 1 lakh crore of investor wealth

After rallying for two sessions, the BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled over 505 points on Monday to slip below the 38,000-level as worries about global trade war and prevailing rupee crisis dampened investors mood despite the government announcing steps to stem a steep fall in the Indian currency.

The broader Nifty too nosedived over 137 points to end below the 11,400-mark.

Subdued Asian and European markets due to escalating trade war between the US and China mainly led to a caution on domestic bourses, brokers said.

The government Friday announced an array of steps, including removal of withholding tax on Masala bonds, relaxation for FPIs and curbs on non-essential imports to contain the widening CAD and check the rupee fall.

On Monday, the rupee again crashed below the 72-mark by plunging 81 paise to 72.65 against the dollar, despite the government’s steps to stem a steep fall in the currency.

The BSE 30-share barometer, after a lower start at 38,027.81, quickly cracked the 38,000-mark to hit a low of 37,548.93 on across-the-board selling in recent gainers and finally settled 505.13 points, or 1.33%, down at 37,585.51.

The gauge had gained 677.51 points in the previous two sessions.

The NSE Nifty hit a low of 11,366.90 and finally ended 137.45 points, or 1.19%, down at 11,377.75.

Financials, led by HDFC twins HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank, emerged as the biggest draggers of the session, pulling down the key indices from their key levels.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,090.56 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases to the tune of Rs 115.14 crore on Friday, provisional data showed.

Meanwhile, Investor wealth eroded by over Rs 1 lakh crore Monday following a weak broader market where the BSE benchmark index tumbled more than 505 points to slip below the 38,000 mark.

Following the sharp fall in stocks, the market capitalisation (m-cap) of BSE-listed companies dropped by Rs 1,14,676.15 crore to Rs 1,55,22,343 crore.

The 30-share key index plunged 505.13 points or 1.33% to end at 37,585.51.

Escalating trade war tensions between the US and China, as well as the rupee worries have dented the market sentiment, experts said.

The Indian currency once again breached the 72-mark to hit a low of 72.69 (intra-day) against the US dollar.

From the 30-share basket, 25 stocks ended with losses led by Sun Pharma, HDFC, Tata Motors and Reliance Industries Limited.

At the BSE, 1,441 stocks declined, while 1,282 advanced and 191 remained unchanged.

Also, more than 140 stocks hit their 52-week low levels Monday on BSE.