Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices crashed by nearly 2 per cent on Monday as geopolitical tensions shot up crude oil and gold prices.
The fears of oil supply disruption also led to possibilities of inflationary pressures after US President Donald Trump threatened sanctions on Iraq, the second-largest producer among OPEC, after its parliament voted in favour of expelling the US and foreign troops.
A day earlier, Iran said it no longer considers itself bound by the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated with the United States and other world powers in the fallout from the killing of Gen Qassem Soleimani.
Meanwhile, oil prices shot up by more than 2 per cent higher with Brent rising above 70 dollars a barrel, stoking fears of a rise in the government’s import bill.
The BSE S&P Sensex closed 788 points or 1.9 per cent lower at 40,677 while the Nifty 50 tumbled by 234 points at 11,993. All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange wound up in the red zone.
Nifty PSU bank cracked by 4.3 per cent, metal by 2.9 per cent, private bank by 2.4 per cent and auto by 2.3 per cent.
Among stocks, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finance, metal major Vedanta and Zee Entertainment eroded values by nearly 4.5 per cent. Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Hindalco, Bajaj Finserv, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Coal India lost between 3.1 and 3.8 per cent.
However, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Titan and Dr Reddy’s witnessed thin gains.
Reports said gold prices in Indian markets jumped over 2 per cent to record levels as investors rushed to safe-haven assets globally as well as a steep fall in the rupee.
Local gold futures hit an all-time high of Rs 41,096 per 10 grammes while the rupee traded at 72.09 per US dollar.
Meanwhile, Asian shares fell from 18-month highs. Japan’s Nikkei slid by 1.91 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng by 0.79 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi by 0.98 per cent.