Investors’ wealth tumbled Rs 5,80,016.37 crore in two trading sessions to Monday as stock markets continued to face heavy sell off on concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The 30-share BSE Sensex plummeted 949.32 points or 1.65 per cent to close at 56,747.14 on Monday. In the previous session, the benchmark had ended 764.83 points or 1.31 per cent lower at 57,696.46.
The market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies declined by Rs 5,80,016.37 crore to Rs 2,56,72,774.66 crore in two days. “Markets plunged sharply and lost over one-and-a-half per cent, in continuation to Friday’s fall. After the flat start, weak global cues and updates on the new COVID variant started weighing on the sentiment as the day progressed,” said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd.
In India, as many as 21 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported so far with 17 cases – nine persons in Rajasthan capital Jaipur, seven in Maharashtra’s Pune district and a 37-year-old fully vaccinated man who arrived in Delhi from Tanzania — being reported on Sunday. According to the Indian Medical Association, Omicron has proved to be less potent in causing severe infections but definitely five to 10 times more contagious than the Delta variant.
All Sensex companies ended in the red. IndusInd Bank was the biggest laggard, falling 3.75 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv and Bharti Airtel. In the broader market, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell 1.35 per cent each. “Concerns over the new variant of Covid and the upcoming RBI meeting on interest rate kept the market volatile,” Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said.