Sensex loses 300 points to end at 2-year low, global trade war fears, tariffs weigh

The benchmark BSE Sensex dropped 300 points on Monday to close at a two-week low, extending its fall for the fourth straight session as metal, banking, oil & gas and auto stocks slumped after the US president fuelled fears of a global trade war.

The 30-share barometer resumed lower and fell to a low of 33,653.41 in intra-day trade. The index settled at 33,746.78 down 300.16 points, or 0.88%. The gauge had lost 398.81 in the previous three sessions.

This was the lowest closing for the BSE Sensex since February 20, when it had finished at 33,703.59.

The 50-issue NSE Nifty too cracked below the 10,400-mark and hit a low of 10,323.90 before finishing 99.50 points, or 0.95% down at 10,358.85.

Market sentiment was dampened as India’s services sector contracted in February and fell to a six-month low, as new work orders suffered amid weak underlying demand conditions, according to the Nikkei monthly services PMI survey.

The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell from 51.7 in January to 47.8 in February, its lowest level since August.

Overseas, weakening trend in Asian bourses as the fallout from Trump’s steel and aluminium tariffs continued to spook investors and dampen the market sentiment, brokers said.

The losses came even as Bharatiya Janata Party’s strong showing in three Northeast states, they added.