Investors' wealth tumbled by over Rs 7.35 lakh crore on Friday, with the BSE benchmark Sensex plummeting 1,688 points amid a global selloff triggered by a new coronavirus variant.
The 30-share index tumbled 1,687.94 points or 2.87 per cent to close at 57,107.15. During the day, it tanked 1,801.2 points or 3.06 per cent.
Tracking the weak trend, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies slumped by Rs 7,35,781.63 crore to reach Rs 2,58,31,172.25 crore.
"It was expected that today we could have a dull day amid a holiday in the US market but surprisingly we wake up with negative cues of a new COVID variant from South Africa that led to black Friday on global markets.
"Indian markets that were already underperforming joined the global market mayhem where Nifty and Sensex lost about 3 per cent in a day.
"Other than the COVID new variant, FIIs' selling is a key concern for the Indian equity market because they are selling relentlessly in our market for the last many days," said Parth Nyati, founder, Tradingo.
IndusInd Bank tanked 6.01 per cent, followed by Maruti, Tata Steel, NTPC, Bajaj Finance and HDFC which declined up to 5.27 per cent.
"Equity markets have plunged amid the emergence of a new, highly mutated COVID-19 variant.
"The EU announced a temporary ban of flights from South Africa and few EU countries are already under full lockdown scenario.
"Thus, there is fear of this new variant spreading to other countries which might again derail the global economy," said Hemang Jani, Head of Equity Strategy and Senior Group VP, Broking and Distribution, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
In the broader market, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices declined up to 3.23 per cent.
"Markets plunged sharply on worries of rising coronavirus cases in the west and reports of a new COVID variant.
"Due to weak global market conditions, we saw investors booking profit at higher levels," according to Amol Athawale, deputy vice president – Technical Research, Kotak Securities Ltd.
Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters