The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes extended losses in noon deals on the back of a broad-based selling pressure. The benchmarks opened lower and extended the slide wherein the Sensex plunged as much as 1,014 points to fall below 48,000 mark and Nifty 50 index slumped below its important psychological level of 14,000 to hit an intraday low of 13,957. Investors resorted to profit booking at record highs ahead of presentation of Union Budget on February 1, analysts said.
As of 2:34 pm, the Sensex dropped 996 points to 47,351 and Nifty 50 slumped 280 points to 13,958.
Monthly expiry of January futures and option contracts tomorrow was also adding to the selling pressure in the markets, analysts added.
“There was some froth in the markets at higher levels and the ongoing correction is a healthy one on account of profit booking. In my view Nifty can test 13,700 levels on the downside which is also the 50-day moving average for the index,” Vijay Chopra of Enoch Ventures told NDTV.
HDFC Bank, HDFC, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Tata Consultancy Services were among the top drags on the Sensex.
All the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Bank index’s 3 per cent fall. Nifty Pharma, Financial Services, Metal and Realty indices also dropped between 1.5-2.5 per cent each.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 1.67 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 0.31 per cent.
Tata Motors was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.5 per cent to Rs 269. Axis Bank, Asian Paints, HDFC, Sun Pharma, Divi’s Labs, HDFC Bank, Indian Oil, Titan, UPL, Larsen & Toubro, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Tata Steel also fell between 2-3.4 per cent.
On the flipside, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, ITC, UltraTech Cement, HDFC Life, SBI Life and HCL Technologies rose between 1-3 per cent.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 1,922 shares were declining while 920 were advancing on the BSE.