Sensex tanks 580 points; Nifty drops below 12,800

SBI was the top laggard in the Sensex pack.

Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 580 points on Thursday, tracking heavy profit-booking in financial stocks amid a weak trend in global markets.

After briefly touching its record intra-day high of 44,230 in a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index ended 580.09 points or 1.31% lower at 43,599.96.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty hit a fresh intra-day peak of 12,963, before ending 166.55 points or 1.29% lower at 12,771.70.

SBI was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tumbling around 5%, followed by Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel.

On the other hand, PowerGrid, ITC, NTPC, Tata Steel and Titan were among the gainers.

“Domestic equities witnessed sharp fall as fear of economic sanctions after closure of public school system in New York resulted in profit booking across all markets,” said Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities.

After seeing such a sharp rally since the beginning of November, profit-booking was anticipated, he said, adding financials witnessed steep correction.

Most of the sectoral indices ended in red. However, traction in mid-cap and small-cap stocks remained visible, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the red, while Shanghai and Tokyo closed in the positive territory.

Stock exchanges in Europe are also opened with sharp losses.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.65% to USD 44.05 per barrel.

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