Sensex tumbles over 300 points in early trade; Nifty slips below 14,800

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex dropped over 300 points in early trade on Wednesday, tracking losses in index majors Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Infosys amid a negative trend in global markets.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 325.15 points or 0.65 per cent lower at 49,726.29, and the broader NSE Nifty declined 94.60 points or 0.64 per cent to 14,720.15.

ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by SBI, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries and Infosys.

On the other hand, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy's PowerGrid and Sun Pharma were among the gainers.

In the previous session, Sensex ended 280.15 points or 0.56 per cent higher at 50,051.44, and Nifty advanced 78.35 points or 0.53 per cent to 14,814.75.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 108.24 crore, as per exchange data.

"The sudden surge in COVID-19 cases globally is a cause for concern. Markets had discounted sharp recovery in global GDP growth in 2021. But now, with parts of Germany, France and Italy going through the third wave and regional lockdowns, global GDP growth is likely to be below estimates," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

The recent crash in crude is a reflection of reduced demand emanating from declining economic activity, he said, adding that in India, the second wave in some prominent cities is adding to the concern.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.07 per cent higher at USD 60.83 per barrel.

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