Sensex plunges over 750 points; Adani group stocks sink

NEW DELHI: Equity indices plunged on Wednesday with the benchmark BSE sensex falling over 750 points amid heavy selloff in financial and IT stocks.
The 30-share BSE index fell 773.69 points or 1.27% to 60,205 as 22 of its scrips declined while eight advanced. The index opened lower and later fell by nearly 900 points during the day to touch a low of 60,081.36.
The broader NSE Nifty declined sharply by 226.35 points or 1.25% to close below the 18,000 level at 17,891.95.
Among sensex pack, SBI, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC, Tech Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Ultratech Cement, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance, HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Wipro and M&M were the major losers.
On the other hand, HUL advanced the most by 1.14%. Maruti, Tata Steel, NTPC and Sun Pharma also posted gains.
Adani group stocks were the biggest drags in the market today. Stocks of the seven listed Adani group companies fell between 1.5% and 9% after Hindenburg, a well-known US short-seller, said in a report that key listed companies in the group controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani had “substantial debt”.
The flagship Adani Enterprises fell about 1.54%, while Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone dropped more than 6%. Adani Ports was the top loser on the benchmark Nifty index on Wednesday.
Adani-owned cement firms ACC and Ambuja Cements fell 7.28% and 7.77%, respectively.
“The slide in today’s equities is due to a combination of factors – the report on Adani group stocks, the monthly expiry of January derivatives series and the fading off of the pre-budget rally,” Avinash Gorakshakar, head of research at Profitmart Securities told Reuters.
Asian markets were mixed after US stocks finished little changed. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.4% and South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.4% while markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services told news agency PTI, “Indian equities witnessed a significant sell-off as the market appeared apprehensive ahead of the upcoming Union Budget and Fed meeting next week. Sentiments were dampened by persistent FII selling, where funds are being shifted to other EMs as a result of attractive valuations”.
“Furthermore, a weak economic growth outlook that stoked recession fears pulled down global markets,” he added.
Stock markets will be closed on January 26 on account of Republic Day.
(With inputs from agencies)