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Sensex Nosedives 1,688 Points, Nifty Ends Just Above 17,000 Amid New Covid Variant Threat

File photo of Sensex in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)

New Delhi: Equity benchmark Sensex on Friday plummeted 1,687.94 points tracking a massive selloff in global markets as concerns over a new COVID-19 variant spooked investors across the world. The 30-share index ended 1,687.94 points or 2.87 per cent lower at 57,107.15. Meanwhile, the Nifty sank 509.80 points to close at 17,026.45.

Rupee also plunged 37 paise to close at 74.89 (provisional) against US dollar.

Tanking over 6 per cent, IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, followed by Maruti, Tata Steel, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, HDFC and Titan. Among the top gainers were Dr Reddy’s and Nestle India.

ALSO READ: New Covid-19 Variant B.1.1529 Puts India On Alert, Strict Screening Of Travellers From 3 Nations Ordered

Amid renewed threat of COVID-19, and alarm raised over variant B.1.1529, markets saw sharp correction. Sensex and Nifty declined close to 4 per cent this week and are down around 8 per cent from their highs, said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities.

“The new variant of COVID-19 is presenting challenges in the form of lockdowns and travel bans. Apart from COVID-related concerns, inflation remains a worry for countries across the globe. FIIs have been net sellers this week. Equity markets in the near term will closely follow the impact of new COVID variant, inflation data, and central bank policies,” he added.

In Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo sank as much as 2.67 per cent.

ALSO READ: WHO Meets Today To Assess New Covid-19 Variant, EU To Propose Banning Travel From South Africa

Stock exchanges in Europe too plunged up to 3.51 per cent in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude tanked 5.62 per cent to USD 77.60 per barrel.

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In the previous session, Sensex ended 454.10 points or 0.78 per cent higher at 58,795.09, and Nifty surged 121.20 points or 0.70 per cent to close at 17,536.25.

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