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In the wake of raging global Omicron infections threatening to derail economic recovery, shares plummeted to their lowest in nearly four months making investors poorer by 11,23,010.78 crore in two days as domestic equity market continued to take severe beating amid a global selloff.

Due to rising concerns around Omicron, equity benchmark sensex plummeted over 1,000 points in early trade on Monday, the BSE benchmark Sensex plunged 1,182.53 points to a low of 55,829.21 in early trade. The benchmark had tumbled 889.40 points or 1.54% to close at 57,011.74 on Friday.

While market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies tumbled 11,23,010.78 crore to 2,52,79,340.30 crore in two days, the investors' wealth had on Friday shrunk by over 4.65 lakh crore as markets suffered a heavy selloff following weak global trends and continued selling by foreign institutional investors.

Gaurav Garg, Head of Research, Capitalvia Global Research Ltd said, "the Indian benchmarks made gap-down opening today amid rising Omicron coronavirus cases worldwide. Traders will be cautious with continuous net outflow of foreign funds as Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have pulled out 17,696 from the Indian markets in December month so far." 

Persistent foreign fund outflow too weighed on investor sentiment. Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 4%, followed by Tata Steel, SBI, NTPC, M&M and HDFC Bank, while Sun Pharma was the sole gainer.

In the previous session, the 30-share equity benchmark had ended 889.40 points or 1.54% lower at 57,011.74. Similarly, the NSE Nifty had plunged 263.20 points or 1.53% to 16,985.20.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth 2,069.90 crore on Friday, according to stock exchange data.

Rising inflation, hawkish central banks, exploding Covid cases, sustained selling by FIIs and slowing growth momentum in the developed economies combined to produce the perfect storm that spooked the markets last week, said VK Vijayakumar, Chief investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

"These negative factors persist, causing concerns about further downtrend in the market, particularly if FIIs continue to sell. But negative sentiments are unlikely to last long. Omicron variant, though fast spreading, has not proved to be highly virulent as feared. Also, FIIs will turn buyers soon when valuations become attractive," he noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with heavy losses in mid-session deals as concerns over resurgence of COVID cases battered global sentiment.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 2.45% to USD 71.72 per barrel.

 (With inputs from agencies)

 

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