Sensex plunges over 1,300 points amid new Covid-19 strain; Nifty tests 13,400

NEW DELHI: Equity indices fell sharply on Monday with the benchmark BSE sensex crashing over 1,300 points amid concerns over a new Covid-19 strain. The 30-share BSE index dived more than 2.5 per cent in late noon deals; while the broader NSE Nifty was testing the 13,400-mark.
Major laggards in the BSE pack included ONGC, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Mahindra & Mahindra, SBI and L&T with their stock down as much as 8.54 per cent.
On the NSE platform, all the sub-indices were trading in red Nifty PSU Bank and Media down as much as 6.98 per cent.
A new and faster-transmitting strain of the virus in the UK is an area of concern. Acceleration in the number of cases in the US and poor economic data are other dampeners, V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services told news agency PTI.
Countries around the world have begun banning flights and travellers from Britain as London said the spread of a more-infectious new coronavirus strain was “out of control”.
On December 19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced that the newly identified strain of the virus may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible.
According to British health secretary Matt Hancock, the new variant was “out of control”.
Meanwhile on the domestic front, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,720.95 crore on a net basis on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.
(With inputs from agencies)

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