Sensex nosedives over 700 points, Nifty ends below 10,500 mark

Mumbai, Dec 10: The Indian equity market slumped around two per cent on Monday, with the S&P BSE Sensex shedding over 700 points, tracking a similar sell-off globally along with uncertainties over the upcoming results of the recently held state elections.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange fell below the 10,500 mark and the Sensex ended below the psychologically significant level of 35,000 points.

On the domestic front, the results for the recently held assembly elections of five states would be out on Tuesday. Exits polls last week showed that the party in power -- the Bharatiya Janata Party -- is seen facing a tough challenge which has raised concerns among the investors.

The elections are considered a crucial indicator of public mood before the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

In the global markets, crude oil prices rose on Monday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia on Friday agreed to reduce supplies from January 2019.

Further, there was a spike in trade war concerns after China on Sunday summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad over the US arrest warrant for Huawei's global CFO Meng Wanzhou who was taken into custody in Canada last week.

Index-wise, wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed lower by 205.25 points or 1.92 per cent to 10,488.45 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at 35,204.66 points, closed at 34,959.72 points -- lower by 713.53 points or two per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,673.25 points.

It touched an intra-day high of 35,246.97 and a low of 34,915.77 points.

"Our markets have fallen in line with other global markets which were down due to resurgence of US-China friction and rise in crude prices," HDFC Securities' Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani told IANS.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened to 71.38 against the US dollar from its previous close of 70.81.

"Dollar-rupee opened higher, around 71.35 on spot, after exit polls suggested that BJP may lose three major states," said Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities.

"If exit polls are true, then it can increase the political risk premium on the rupee."

Last Friday -- the previous trade session -- bargain hunting and lower crude oil prices lifted the key Indian equity market indices by around one per cent.

Consequently, the NSE Nifty50 had ended higher by 93 points or 0.87 per cent at 10,693.70 points, whereas the Sensex closed at 35,673.25 points, up 361.12 points or 1.02 per cent.

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