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Updated December 20th, 2023 at 20:25 IST

Sensex posts worst day of 2023 as investors book profit at record highs

Last time Sensex dropped over 900 points was on February 22, 2023, data from BSE showed.

Reported by: Abhishek Vasudev
Stock market crash
Sensex's worst day of 2023 | Image:Republic World
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The Indian equity benchmarks crashed on Wednesday, posting their worst day of 2023, as investors booked profits at record highs as rising COVD cases and reports of BSE imposing higher margin on derivative contracts knocked investors’ confidence. The Sensex fell as much as 1,610 points from record high and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 21,241.55 after hitting an all-time high of 21,593.

The Sensex ended 931 points lower at 70,506 and Nifty 50 index fell 360 points to settle at 21,093.

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Last time Sensex dropped over 900 points was on February 22, 2023, data from BSE showed.

BSE on Tuesday said its unit Indian Clearing Corporation will impose an additional 15 per cent exposure margin on securities under market wide position limit (MWPL).

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The additional margin levy will be effective Jan. 1 and apply to derivatives in which the top 10 clients of brokerages account for more than 20 per cent of MWPL.

MWPL is the maximum number of open futures and options contracts allowed by the exchange for a stock.

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"This is the first serious slide in the Nifty index after the seven weeks of up move and it may result in further dip. However, it is too early to conclude the uptrend has faded until the Nifty breaks 20,700 that is 20 EMA on the daily chart. We reiterate our preference for index majors and suggest accumulating quality names during this phase," said Ajit Mishra, SVP - Technical Research, Religare Broking.

Selling pressure was broad-based as all sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by Nifty PSU Bank index's over 3 per cent fall. Nifty Auto, Metal, Media, Pharma, Real Estate, Healthcare and Oil & Gas indices also fell between 1.3-3.8 per cent.

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Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 2.5 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index dropped 2.8 per cent.

Adani Ports was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 6.24 per cent to Rs 1,007. Adani Enterprises, Tata Steel, UPL, Coal India, HDFC Life, HCL Technologies, Eicher Motors, Tech Mahindra and State Bank of India also fell between 3-6 per cent.

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On the other hand, ONGC, Tata Consumer Products, Britannia and Cipla were among the notable gainers.

The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 3,177 shares ended lower while 658 closed higher on the BSE.

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Published December 20th, 2023 at 16:20 IST

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