The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes extended losses in afternoon trading on the back of a broad-based selling pressure as traders were seen lightening their positions ahead of Union Budget on Monday amid monthly expiry of January futures and option contracts due later today. The benchmarks staged a gap down opening and extended losses wherein the Sensex fell as much as 891 points and Nifty 50 index briefly fell below its important psychological level of 13,750.
As of 12:57 pm, the Sensex fell 818 points to 46,592 and Nifty dropped 237 points to 13,730.
“It is a healthy correction from record highs and looking at the derivative rollovers it seems traders are lightening their positions ahead of the Budget which is a good sign to go into a major economic event,” AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital told NDTV.
HDFC Bank, HDFC, Infosys, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Hindustan Unilever, TCS and ICICI Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex, they collectively wiped out 500 points from the Sensex, data from BSE showed.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s 3.5 per cent drop. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, FMCG, IT and Realty indexes also fell between 1.5-2.7 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smalllcap 100 indexes tumbled nearly 1 per cent each.
HDFC Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell over 4 per cent to Rs 1,348. Wipro, Hindustan Unilever, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Power Grid, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC, Bajaj Finance, ITC, UPL, IndusInd Bank and Infosys also fell between 1.6-3.6 per cent.
On the flipside, Axis Bank rose 3.5 per cent to Rs 654 after it reported December quarter earnings.
Hero MotoCorp, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Bajaj Auto, Shree Cements and Tata Motors were also among the notable gainers.