New Delhi: Indian equity benchmarks on Monday plunged in opening deals, taking cues from the global markets. US stock futures traded lower as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis and rising inflation dented investor sentiment. A surge in crude oil prices also kept investors on edge.
Trends on the Nifty Futures on the Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) also indicated a gap-down start for the domestic indices amid the corporate earnings season.
Further, market participants awaited the wholesale-price index (WPI) inflation figure, scheduled to be released later in the day. Retail (consumer price-based) inflation hit a 17-month high of 6.95 percent in March.
Brent futures were up $1.50, or 1.3 per cent, at $113.20 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 98 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $107.93 a barrel on tighter global supply concerns.
Back home, the 30-share BSE Sensex crashed 1,048 points, or 1.79 per cent, to 57,281 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 178 points, or 1.59 per cent, down to 17,198.
Mid- and small-cap shares were weak as the Nifty Midcap 100 fell 1.47 percent and the small-cap shed 1.36 percent.
11 out of the 15 sector gauges (compiled by the National Stock Exchange) were trading in the red. Nifty IT and Nifty Financial Services were underperforming the index by falling as much as 2.97 percent and 1.87 percent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, Infosys was the top loser as the stock cracked 6 percent to 1,643.55. Tech Mahindra, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank) and Tech Mahindra were also among the losers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,018 shares were advancing while 1,846 were declining on the BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, Infosys, TechM, HDFC twins, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and TCS were among the top laggards.
In contrast, NTPC, Tata Steel, M & M, Maruti, PowerGrid, and Hindustan Unilever were trading in the green. Tata Steel surged as much as 1.44 percent after its board announced that it will consider a proposal to split the stock on May 3.
The Sensex tanked 237 points, or 0.41 per cent, to close at 58,339 on Wednesday, while the Nifty moved 55 points, or 0.31 per cent, lower to settle at 17,476. The indices reopened today after a gap of four straight days.