Benchmark equity indices plunged over 2% and the rupee hit a lifetime low on Monday due to a surge in global crude oil prices.

The 30-share BSE Sensex finished trading at 52,842.75, down by 1,491.06 points, or 2.74%, from the previous close mark. The broader 50-share NSE Nifty closed at 15,863.15, down by 382.20, points or 2.35%.

Al major sectoral sub-indices, with the exception of Nifty Media, made losses on Monday. The Nifty Bank sub-index lost 4.47%, while Nifty Realty fell by 5.47%.

Market experts said the plunge was a result of negative sentiments in the global markets due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and record-high prices of crude oil due to the war.

“The extraordinary uncertainty triggered by the war has pushed commodity markets into turmoil,” VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, told Moneycontrol. “Crude [oil] at $128 is a big shock. This can impact global growth and aggravate inflationary pressures.”

Among prominent stocks, IndusInd Bank lost the most (7.63%) on BSE Sensex. Shares of State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance made losses in the range of 4.6% to 6.7%.

Meanwhile, the rupee slumped 84 paise to close at its lifetime low of 77.01 against the US dollar on Monday, PTI reported. The previous record low for the rupee was on April 22, 2020, when it had hit 76.90 during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Mint.

“The Indian rupee has plummeted to a lifetime low against the US dollar as the deepening Russia-Ukraine conflict has sapped risk appetite in the market while prompting safe-haven flows into the US dollar,” said Sugandha Sachdeva, vice president of commodity and currency research at Religare Broking Limited.

Crude oil touches 14-year high

The price of Brent crude oil touched $129 (Rs 9,912.04) per barrel for the first time since 2008 in the first few minutes of trade on Monday, Bloomberg reported. At 4.20 pm, the price had dipped to $126.31 (Rs 9,744.41)

Brent is a global price benchmark for crude oil extracted from the Atlantic basin. It is used to set the price of two-thirds of the world’s trade of crude oil supply.

The United States West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, also a global oil benchmark, jumped $9.42 (Rs 723.81), or 8.14%, to $125.10 (Rs 9,612.37) a barrel, according to Bloomberg.

The record rise came after the United States said it was considering a ban on oil exports from Russia for its offensive against Ukraine, according to BBC.

Russia is the third-largest oil producer and the biggest exporter of oil to global markets, according to the International Energy Agency.

On March 6, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that the White House and its allies were discussing banning the import of Russian oil supplies.

Later, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said the chamber was “exploring” legislation to ban the import of Russian oil. “The House is currently exploring strong legislation that will further isolate Russia from the global economy,” the BBC had quoted Pelosi as saying in a letter.