Equity benchmarks indices plunged on Monday due to heavy losses in information technology and banking sector stocks. The 30-share BSE Sensex lost 1,172 points to close at 57,166.74. The broader 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 302 points to finish at 17,173.65.
The decline came amid a surge in oil prices, due to prospects of an embargo on Russian oil and gas by the European Union, Bloomberg Quint reported. Brent crude oil increased by 1.3% and cost $113.20, or Rs 8,645.40.
Brent is a global price benchmark for crude oils from the Atlantic basin. It is used to set the price of two-thirds of the world’s trade of crude oil supply.
The European Union governments had said last week that they were drafting proposals to ban Russian crude oil, Reuters reported. However, Germany was not in favour of an immediate ban. Several western countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have imposed several economic sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Russia is the third-largest producer of oil across the world, with Europe being one of its major patrons. Oil prices increased on Monday as global supply was tightened amid speculation of a European embargo and as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues.
On the domestic front, major stocks like Infosys, HDFC and HDFC Bank made losses on Monday after declaring weaker than expected financial results for the January-March quarter, according to Reuters.
The Infosys stock lost 7.27% on the BSE, plunging to an eight-month low price of Rs 1,621.45. The twin HDFC stocks also lost more than 4.75% each. Other information technology sector stocks like Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Tech lost in the range of 2% to 4.7%.
“It was a weak set of numbers from Infosys and TCS also was a disappointment,” Saurabh Jain, assistant vice president at financial services firm SMC Securities, told Reuters. “The companies are under a lot of cost pressure and this will affect mid-cap stocks.”