Crude Oil Price Fall: Sensex Plunges 1,000 Points, Rupee Depreciates

New Delhi – Equity benchmark Sensex plunged over 1,000 points in opening trade on Tuesday tracking heavy losses in banking, energy and IT stocks amid volatility in global market as international crude oil prices went into a tailspin overnight. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated by 30 paise to 76.83 against the US dollar in opening trade, tracking weak domestic equities and strengthening of the US dollar overseas.

After hitting a low of 30,634.41, the 30-share index was trading 822.45 points or 2.60 per cent lower at 30,825.55. Similarly, the NSE Nifty tanked 235.05 points, or 2.54 per cent, to 9,026.80. Maruti was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, sinking up to 7 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and ONGC.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Nestle India, HUL, Asian Paints and ITC were the gainers. In the previous session, the BSE barometer ended 59.28 points or 0.19 per cent higher at 31,648, while the Nifty was down 4.90 points or 0.05 per cent at 9,261.85.

Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 265.89 crore, according to provisional exchange data. According to traders, domestic market plunged following selloff in global equities as rout in crude market hit investor sentiment world over.

Forex traders said the rupee opened on a weak note as the US Dollar edged higher past the 100 level mark. The rupee opened weak at 76.79 at the interbank forex market and then fell further to 76.83, down 30 paise over its last close. The rupee had settled at 76.53 against the US dollar on Monday. “Investors braced for further cues on the economic toll from the coronavirus in a week lined with corporate earnings and data this week,” Reliance Securities said in a research note.

With space to store oil scarce, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery plunged to -$37.63 a barrel ahead of Tuesday’s close for futures contracts–when traders who buy and sell the commodity for profit would have had to take physical posession of it.

US oil prices rebounded back above zero on Tuesday. WTI crude for May delivery was changing hands at $0.56 a barrel in New York.

On Wall Street, stocks crashed after US oil prices turned negative on Monday for the first time ever. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with heavy losses in early deals. Further, concerns over mounting Covid-19 cases also kept investors jittery, traders said.

The death toll due to the pandemic rose to 590, while the number of cases in the country climbed to 18,601. Global tally of the infections has crossed 24.7 lakh, with over 1.70 lakh deaths.


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