The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell sharply in noon trading on Monday on the back of a broad-based selloff. Investors turned cautious considering surging domestic cases of the novel coronavirus and the passage of a contentious farm bill by lawmakers in the upper house of parliament yesterday, analysts said. Weak trading in European equity markets also added to the already negative sentiment on Dalal Street, analysts said. The Sensex fell as much as 773 points or 2 per cent to hit an intraday low of 38,072.88 and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low 11,252.60.
As of 2:28 pm, the Sensex dropped 670 points to 38,176 and Nifty 50 index plunged 212 points to 11,293.
Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two contentious farm bills, which have triggered protests by farmers at several places, amid uproar by opposition members.
The two bills — Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 — were passed by Lok Sabha on Thursday. The House also rejected the demand of several opposition parties to send the two bills to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee for greater scrutiny.
India has recorded 54,87,580 COVID-19 cases so far with 86,961 new infections. 1,130 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the total death count to 87,882. 93,356 patients have recovered from the infection in the country in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, selling pressure was visible across sectors. All the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by Nifty Pharma, Metal and Media indexes slumping over 4 per cent each. Banking, auto, FMCG and Realty sector gauges also fell between 2-4 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also seen engulfed in a bear hug with Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes dropping over 3 per cent each.