Sensex drops 355 pts; Nifty falls below 15,650

Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 355 points on Tuesday, weighed by losses in HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel amid a weak trend in global markets.

The 30-share BSE index ended 354.89 points or 0.68 per cent lower at 52,198.51, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 120.30 points or 0.76 per cent to 15,632.10.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech, ICICI Bank, M&M and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, Asian Paints rallied over 6 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Auto, HUL and Nestle India.

Domestic equities extended losses as weak global cues and continued selling pressure in financials dragged benchmark indices, said Binod Modi, Head – Strategy at Reliance Securities.

He noted that barring FMCG and IT, most key sectoral indices contracted, with financials, metals and realty witnessing steep correction.

“Strong earnings from Asian Paints during trading hours aided stock to sharp upmove,” he said, adding that midcap and smallcap stocks also witnessed heavy selling pressure as weak global trend led investors to book profits.

On the global front, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with losses, while equities in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 0.35 per cent to USD 68.86 per barrel.