Sensex tanks over 2,700 pts amid global meltdown as Russia invades Ukraine

This was its biggest decline since March 23, 2020, and the fourth-worst fall ever in absolute terms

Mumbai: The Sensex crashed over 2,700 points on Thursday -- its biggest single-day plunge in about two years -- in lockstep with a severe sell-off in global markets after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, plunging Europe into its biggest crisis since the Second World War.

The 30-share BSE gauge plummeted about 2,850 points during the session before closing at 54,529.91, registering a massive fall of 2,702.15 points or 4.72 per cent. This was its biggest decline since March 23, 2020, and the fourth-worst fall ever in absolute terms.

Likewise, the NSE barometer Nifty nosedived 815.30 points or 4.78 per cent to end at 16,247.95.

This was also the seventh straight session of decline for both the key indices.

On the Sensex chart, all 30 shares suffered heavy losses, with IndusInd Bank tumbling the most at 7.88 per cent, followed by M&M, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, Tech Mahindra and Maruti.

Investors were poorer by about Rs 13 lakh crore, with the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies standing at Rs 2,42,24,179.79 crore.

Russian troops launched wide-ranging military attacks on Ukraine on Thursday after Moscow cast aside international sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to "consequences you have never seen".

Globally, stocks plunged and safe haven assets like gold and Japanese yen rallied amid the intensifying Ukraine crisis, which experts believe may roil the global economy.

Market benchmarks in Europe and Asia fell by as much as 4 per cent.

Brent crude oil jumped above USD 100 per barrel for the first time since 2014 on unease about possible disruption of supplies from Russia.

"Ukraine is under attack from Russian forces. The threat of severe sanctions on Moscow is now at its highest level, sending equity markets tumbling globally. Sentiment is driving market direction, which will lead to a large sell-off...," said Leonardo Pellandini, Equity Strategy, Julius Baer.

Continuing their selling spree, foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 3,417.16 crore in the Indian capital markets on Wednesday, exchange data showed.

"It was a big surprise for the world market as it was not anticipating a war. It was expecting a diplomatic meet between Biden and Putin. Markets around the globe plunged deep in red as the Ukraine crisis intensified with Russia's invasion into Eastern Ukraine. Crude oil prices crossed USD 100 per barrel and elevated inflation risk," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Tracking the broader trend, all 19 BSE sectoral indices closed in the red, with realty, telecom, auto and banking diving as much as 7 per cent.

BSE smallcap, midcap and large-cap gauges slipped up to 5.77 per cent.

On the forex market front, the Indian rupee plunged 102 paise to end at 75.63 against the US dollar.

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