Sensex tanks nearly 900 points to close below 59,000; Nifty tests 17,000

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MUMBAI: Falling for the third straight session, equity benchmark Sensex tanked nearly 900 points to close below the 59,000 mark on Monday due to a massive sell-off in banking, finance and auto stocks amid one of the biggest US bank failures. Besides, unabated flight of foreign capital and a weak domestic currency amid global rate hike fears added to the gloom, traders said.
After gaining 375 points in the early trade, the BSE Sensex could not hold to gains and declined 897.28 points or 1.52 per cent to settle at 58,237.85 as 29 of its constituents declined while only one advanced. During the day, it hit a low of 58,094.55 and a high of 59,510.92.
The NSE Nifty fell 258.60 points or 1.49 per cent to end at 17,154.30, with 45 of its scrips ending in the red.
IndusInd Bank was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 7.46 per cent, followed by SBI, Tata Motors, M&M, Bajaj Finserv, Axis Bank and Infosys.
In contrast, Tech Mahindra was the only winner.
In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge dipped 2.08 per cent and the midcap index declined 1.82 per cent.
The US-based SVB Financials, which mainly funds startups, crashed 60 per cent in the US market last week, triggering concerns over the health of banks’ bond portfolios and its possible rippling effects globally.
“…jitters over the largest US bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, driving investors to the safe-haven asset,” Navneet Damani, Senior VP – of Commodity Research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said.
In Asian markets, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the green, while Tokyo settled lower.
European equity markets were trading with significant losses in the afternoon trade.
Meanwhile, the rupee declined 10 paise to close at 82.16 against the US dollar on Monday.
International oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.79 per cent to USD 81.30 per barrel.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 2,061.47 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.



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