Sensex cracks nearly 300 points

Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex plunged nearly 300 points in early session today, dragged by oil and gas stocks, stoked by a massive surge in global crude prices.

After touching a low of 37,111.29, the 30-share index was trading 210.02 points, or 0.56 per cent, lower at 37,174.97 at 1000 hours, while the broader Nifty fell 64.15 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 11,011.75.

In the previous session on Friday, the BSE barometer settled 280.71 points higher at 37,384.99, while the broader NSE Nifty ended 93.10 points up at 11,075.90. According to experts, domestic equities plunged after global oil benchmark Brent crude price skyrocketed as drones attacked two Saudi Arabian plants on Saturday.

The attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels reportedly shut down six per cent of the global oil supply. After the drone attack on one of the world’s biggest oil producers Saudi Aramco, global crude prices surge by almost 12 per cent which is the biggest surge since 1988.

The spike in crude oil rates will affect the fiscal position of net energy importers like India, experts said. Shares of oil and gas companies HPCL, BPCL, IOC, Castrol India and Reliance Industries plunged up to 7 per cent.

A huge depreciation in the rupee against the US dollar too spooked investors here, traders said. The local unit cracked 68 paise to 71.60 against the US currency in early trade. Top losers in the Sensex pack in early trade on included Asian Paints, RIL, Yes Bank, HDFC, SBI, Tata Motors, Maruti, Tata Steel and Axis Bank, falling up to 2 per cent.

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