Equity benchmark indices crashed on Thursday as global market sentiments nosedived after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “military operation” in Ukraine.

The 30-share BSE index plunged 2702.15 points, or 4.72% to close at 54,529.91. The broader 50-share NSE Nifty finished at 16,247.95, down by 815 points from the previous closing mark.

Among prominent stocks, Induslnd Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank and Tech Mahindra suffered major losses, ranging between 7.88% to 5.75% on the BSE.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices soared on account of the emerging conflict at the Russia-Ukraine border. Global oil prices have crossed $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014, Business Standard reported.

The spiraling oil prices are a major concern for India as it relies on the global market for most of its crude oil requirements.

Markets have “gone for a toss” the world over, due to which investors should remain cautious, Aamar De Singh, Head Advisory at stockbroking company Angel One told Moneycontrol. “Investors are well-advised to stay cautious, adding light positions only in quality stocks, till there is clarity on the unfolding scenario in the Russian-Ukraine conflict,” he said.

Putin has claimed that he was left with no choice but to defend Russia what he claimed were threats emanating from Ukraine. Following his announcement of military operations, explosions were heard at several places in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a conflict since 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backed separatist rebellions in the country’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Gold surges Rs 1,600, Rupee slides 58 paise

The crisis along the Ukraine border took its toll on the value of the Rupee and prices of gold as well.

On Thursday morning, the rupee stood at 75.02 against the US dollar, but slid to an intra-day low of 75.75, before closing at 75.60, reported PTI.

Meanwhile, gold prices rose by Rs 1,656 to Rs 51,627 per 10 grams in Delhi as investor demand for the metal, which is seen as safe asset, increased.

According to HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel, the increase in gold prices was in view of fear of sanctions on Russia and a disruption in the supply of commodities.

Nilesh Shah, group president and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, said that during a war, it is difficult to predict how low the markets can plunge.

According to Shah it is likely to be a “buy on dip market”, which means investors might be tempted to buy as stocks fall anticipating a rise as global tensions ease. Shah said there will be a lot of volatility in the markets the near future.