Sensex drops 196 pts; Nifty slips below 17,000-mark

Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 196 points on Tuesday, hit by fag-end selling in auto and metal stocks following sluggish investor sentiment in global markets.

The selling pressure was triggered after European markets opened in the negative territory amid concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, traders said.

After rallying over 900 points, the 30-share BSE index surrendered all gains to settle 195.71 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 57,064.87.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty declined 70.75 points or 0.41 per cent to close below the 17,000-mark at 16,983.20.

Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 4 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank and Maruti.

On the other hand, PowerGrid, Titan, Bajaj Finserv, Nestle India and Bajaj Finance were among the gainers.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with losses, while Shanghai was positive. Stock exchanges in Europe were in the red in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, the rupee closed 10 paise lower at 75.17 (provisional) against the US dollar.

International oil benchmark Brent crude tumbled 3.12 per cent to USD 71.15 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained net sellers in the capital market on Monday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 3,332.21 crore, according to exchange data.