Sensex, Nifty Tumble as IT Stocks Sink and Foreign Funds Exit

Mumbai: Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty suffered hefty losses on Thursday, dragged down by heavy selling in IT stocks and persistent foreign fund outflows. The decline comes despite positive sentiments in most Asian markets and a mixed performance in the US on Wednesday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex plunged 359.64 points, or 0.51%, to close at 70,700.67. Intraday, it plummeted even further, dipping 1.04% to 70,319.04. Nifty, the broader market index, mirrored the downward trend, shedding 101.35 points, or 0.47%, to settle at 21,352.60.

Tech Mahindra, reeling from a staggering 60% decline in net profit for the December quarter, bore the brunt of the selling pressure. The stock sank over 6%. Other blue-chip casualties included Bharti Airtel, ITC, HCL Technologies, Asian Paints, and Wipro. HDFC Bank, Nestle, Tata Steel, TCS, and Maruti also witnessed significant losses.

Amidst the gloom, some stocks bucked the trend and managed to post gains. NTPC, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, JSW Steel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, and Mahindra & Mahindra were notable gainers.

The ongoing exodus of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) played a key role in dampening market sentiment. FIIs offloaded a massive Rs 6,934.93 crore worth of equities on Wednesday, as per exchange data.

While Asian markets ended the day on a positive note, European markets were mostly lower. The US markets, which closed mixed on Wednesday, offered little respite to Indian investors. Additionally, the rise in global oil benchmark Brent crude, climbing 1.02% to USD 80.96 a barrel, may have also added to the market anxiety.

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