Equity benchmark indices dipped sharply during early hours on Monday as the country recorded a massive surge of 1.69 lakh Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours and curbs were imposed in different regions to contain the spread of virus.At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 1,231 points or 2.48 per cent at 48,360 while the Nifty 50 tumbled by 348 points or 2.34 per cent to 14,487.
Except for Nifty pharma, all other sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty PSU bank down by 6.5 per cent, private bank by 4 per cent, realty by 5.4 per cent, auto by 3.8 per cent and metal by 2.5 per cent.
Among stocks, IndusInd Bank cracked by 6.8 per cent to Rs 860.20 per share while Kotak Mahindra Bank lost by 3.97 per cent to Rs 1,728.75. State Bank of India was down by 5.7 per cent to Rs 332.60.
Bajaj Finance slipped by 5.1 per cent, Tata Motors by 5 per cent, Adani Ports by 4.7 per cent and Eicher Motors by 3.7 per cent.
However, pharma majors gained with Cipla up by 3.4 per cent, Dr Reddy’s by 1.5 per cent and Sun Pharma by 0.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, Asian shares faltered as investors wait to see if US earnings can justify sky-high valuations.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.6 per cent in slow trade. Tokyo’s Nikkei edged down 0.5 per cent while South Korean stocks were near flat.
Chinese blue chips eased 0.9 per cent ahead of a rush of economic figures from the country.