Sensex tanks 1,407 pts as new COVID-19 strain in UK triggers global selloff


NEW DELHI: Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted 1,407 points on Monday as panic over a new strain of coronavirus in the UK led to a massive selloff in global equities.

The 30-share BSE index plunged 1,406.73 points or 3 per cent to close at 45,553.96. The broader NSE Nifty crashed 432.15 points or 3.14 per cent to 13,328.40.

All Sensex components ended in the red, with ONGC leading the pack by tanking around 9 per cent. IndusInd Bank, M&M, SBI, NTPC, ITC, Axis Bank and PowerGrid shed up to 7 per cent.

"Domestic equities witnessed sharp selling pressure today and wiped out more than Rs 7 trillion of investors' wealth in a single day," said Binod Modi, Head- Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Concerns of new COVID-19 strain in the UK and emerging doubts over the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination dented investors' sentiments globally, he said, adding that Indian market was among the worst performers as profit-booking also took place at higher levels.

Notably, the volatility index witnessed a sharp jump of 25 per cent, indicating more volatility ahead, he asserted.

Several European countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Italy, have banned flights from the UK with the British government warning that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control". The UK has imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday in London and other regions.

India too has suspended all flights from the UK between December 23-31.

Stock exchanges in Paris, Frankfurt and London were trading up to 2.50 per lower in early deals.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Tokyo ended in the red, while Shanghai and Seoul settled with mild gains.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures plummetted 5.30 per cent to USD 49.49 per barrel. (PTI)