Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday slipped nearly 262 points due to panic sell-offs by investors who were caught off guard by massive spike in crude prices after drone attack on the Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing facility.
Tracking oil prices movement, the Indian rupee saw heavy depreciation in value against the US dollar, spooking investors here, experts said.
After plummeting 356 points, the 30-share index ended 261.68 points, or 0.70 per cent, lower at 37,123.31. The broader NSE Nifty too settled 79.80 points, or 0.72 per cent, down at 10,996.10.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included M&M, SBI, Yes Bank, Asian Paints, HDFC, Tata Steel and L&T, shedding up to 2.55 per cent. On the other hand, TechM, ONGC, Sun Pharma, HUL, TCS and Bharti Airtel rose up to 1.44 per cent. According to experts, equities plunged after global crude oil price skyrocketed over 10 per cent after drones attacked two Saudi Arabian plants on Saturday.
The attack has effectively knocked out over half of Saudi Arabia's production as it cut 5.7 million barrels per day or over 5 per cent of the world's supply. Oil prices surged the most on record on Monday, with Brent crude rising by as much as 19.5 per cent to USD 71.95 per barrel - the biggest gain in dollar terms since futures started trading in 1988.
Shares of oil and gas companies HPCL, BPCL, IOC, Castrol India and Reliance Industries plunged as much as 7 per cent. Stocks of aviation firms SpiceJet, InterGlobe Aviation and Jet Airways also cracked up to 3.95 per cent.
"Over the weekend, the drone strikes on Saudi have added to the trade war related uncertainties and deteriorated market condition globally," said Gaurav Dua, Sr VP, Head – Capital Market Strategy & Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.
Moreover, the Indian economy will also get impacted due to surge in crude oil prices. No wonder, the Indian equity market ignored the important initiatives announced by the government to the support housing sector and boost exports, he added.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday unveiled over Rs 70,000 crore of measures for exporters and the real estate sector, including about Rs 30,000 crore new spending in plans such as setting up of a stressed asset fund, as part of efforts to boost economic growth from a six-year low.
Further, government data on Monday showed that wholesale price-based inflation remained unchanged at 1.08 per cent in August. Inflation in food articles rose to 7.67 per cent in August from 6.15 per cent in July.
"Going ahead, if the tensions in Middle East worsen, it will have adverse impact on inflation prints," said Rahul Gupta, Head of Research - Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.
The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 61 paise (intra-day) to trade at 71.53 per US dollar.
Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index and Hang Seng ended in the red, while Kospi settled in the green. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in their respective early sessions. (PTI)