The Indian equity markets fell for the fourth consecutive session on Monday as investors remained jittery amid a mix of negative global and domestic news flow.
The 30-share Sensex lost 491.28 points or 1.25% to close at 38,960.79. The index has lost nearly 1,000 points in the last four sessions.
Among the Sensex pack, as many as 27 stocks ended in the red on Monday with Tata Steel, Vedanta, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, ONGC and Maruti Suzuki India, all falling more than 2% each.
The broader Nifty ended the day at 11,672.15, down 151.15 points or 1.28%. Incidentally, the India VIX index, which was on a downward slide till recently, gained nearly 5.5% on Monday.
Investors took a bearish stance on account of fears of a trade war after India imposed retaliatory duties on about 29 items that would impact U.S. exporters. It was in response to the U.S. government’s decision to remove certain trade privileges for Indian exporters.
To add to it, concerns of a delayed monsoon, weak trend in the global markets, slowdown in inflows from foreign investors and geopolitical tensions in West Asia also weighed on investor sentiment.
Umesh Mehta, head of research, Samco Securities, said that the Indian markets were being weighed down by a combination of factors including liquidity crunch, escalating trade war concerns and high valuations.
“Indian markets have shown a divergent behaviour over the past couple of months with large caps on the uphill and small and midcaps on a downhill. Today, however, most of the large caps faced the heat and stocks from a wide gamut of sectors and not only the financial space were down,” said Mr. Mehta.
On the BSE, more than 1,900 stocks lost ground on Monday, as against only 653 gainers with all sectoral indices ending in the red. Further, more than 200 stocks touched their respective lower circuits during the trading session.
Meanwhile, data showed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been net buyers at only ₹1,333 crore in the current month, as against ₹7,920 crore worth of net purchases in the previous month.