The Indian benchmark indices fell for a fourth straight session after Asian shares dropped amid fears of a global trade war and political uncertainty in Italy. The BSE Sensex closed 300.16 points lower at 33,746.78. The broader NSE Nifty index plunged 99.50 points to finish at 10,358.85.
Auto and metal stocks fell sharply, fuelled by United States President Donald Trump’s decision to impose import curbs on steel and aluminium. Trump will reportedly sign the order imposing the increased import tariffs this week.
Shares of Tata Motors, Tata Motors DVR, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and Reliance Industries declined the most on the Sensex while Tata Motors, Hindalco, Aurobindo Pharma, Tata Steel and Ambuja Cements were the top losers on the Nifty.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma, Tata Consultancy Services, Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra. On the NSE, the stocks that performed the best were Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, Tata Consultancy Services, Mahindra and Mahindra and UPL.
Analysts, however, told Reuters that the weakness in Indian markets was temporary and a positive March-quarter corporate results would boost sentiment. “The market is absorbing the negative global reports since there was a three-day break,” said Krish Subramanyam, the co-head and equity adviser at Altamount Capital.
All major Asian markets, with the exception of the Shanghai index, plunged on Monday. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed nearly 700 points (2.28%) lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell over 139 points. The Taiwan market declined by 55 points and the Australian ASX All Ordinaries by 32.
The rupee was trading six paise up against the United States dollar at 65.11 at 4.30 pm.