The Indian equity benchmarks suffered their worst single-day drop with the Sensex falling 1,688 points, or 2.87 percent, to 57,107, and the Nifty 50 index fell 510 points, or 2.9 percent, to 17,026.
After news of a potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus strain drove investors fleeing to the protection of bonds, the yen, and the Swiss franc on Friday, global markets dropped and oil fell below $80 a barrel. European stocks fell 2.7 percent, putting them on course to have their worst day since September 2020, with travel and leisure sectors taking the brunt of the losses.
The selling pressure was widespread, as thirteen of the National Stock Exchange's 15 sector indices ended lower, topped by the Nifty Realty index, which fell over 6 percent. The Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Metal, Public Sector Bank, Private Bank, Consumer Durables, and Oil & Gas indices all dropped 3.5-5 percent. Pharma and healthcare indices, on the other hand, finished higher. The Nifty Midcap 100 index plummeted 3.25 percent, and the Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 2.9 percent, indicating that mid- and small-cap stocks were also under pressure.
JSW Steel was the biggest loser on the Nifty, falling 7.5 percent to Rs. 630. Tata Motors, Hindalco, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, ONGC, and Tata Consumer Products all saw a 5-7 percent drop in their stock prices.