India's key indices – S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 – continued to tank for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday, 24 February, owing to sharp escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched military operations in Ukraine in defiance of the West.
As markets closed, Sensex crashed 2,702 points to close at 54,529, while Nifty ended at 16,247 – down by 815 points.
Brent crude rose to a record high of $104 a barrel – the highest since 2014, Business Standard reported.
Since they peaked in January this year, benchmarks have fallen by around 16 percent. Thursday also marked the highest one-day fall since March 2020, when a pan-India lockdown was declared due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All stocks on the NSE index ended in the negative, Business Standard reported. Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, UPL, Grasim, Adani Ports, Hero Moto, JSW Steel, M&M, and HDFC Life tanked between 6 to 11 percent.
Also, Bank of India, Apollo Tyres, BHEL, Vodafone Idea, IDFC First Bank, L&T Housing Finance, LIC Housing Finance, HEG, Rain Industries, NBCC, HFCL, and Alok Industries fell by up to 14 percent.
Early Trading Hours
At 12:03 pm, the Sensex had slightly recovered from its early morning low but was trading at 55,562.25, down 1,669.81 points or 2.92 percent. Meanwhile, Nifty stood at 16,558.65, down 504.60 points or 2.96 percent.
Both the Sensex and Nifty had opened around 3 percent lower and slipped over 3.5 percent within minutes of the markets opening.
At 10:16 am, Sensex was trading at 55,428 points, down 3.2 percent or 1,803 points, whereas Nifty traded at 16,545 points, down 3.0 percent or 518 points, reported IANS.
All Nifty 50 stocks traded in the red with Tata Motors, Indusind Bank, IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, and Mahindra & Mahindra declining the most during the early trade.
These stocks declined 5.5 percent, 4.4 percent, 4.2 percent, 4.1 percent, and 4.0 percent, respectively.
On the BSE, only 273 shares were in the green, while 2,378 were in the red, reported NDTV.
Ukraine Imposes Martial Law
As Russian President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine on Thursday, Ukraine declared martial law, claiming a full-fledged military invasion was being undertaken, AFP reported.
Despite the threat of crippling financial sanctions by the US and other western nations, Russia has amassed around 2,00,000 troops on the periphery of Eastern Ukraine.
As Russia announced the decision to launch a "military operation", explosions could be heard across Ukraine, most prominently in its capital city, Kyiv.
The conflict, which has been slowly brewing, picked up speed in the last few days as Putin declared two rebel-held areas of Ukraine - Luhansk and Donetsk - as independent nations on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden condemned Russia's actions and continued the threat of crippling sanctions. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) chief Jens Stoltenberg also slammed Russia, saying that the country's actions were "reckless and unprovoked," reported AFP.
(With inputs from NDTV, IANS, AFP and Business Standard.)