Sensex plunged over 500 points in afternoon trading after statements from the Indian army confirmed surgical strikes against terrorists in Pakistan. This raised worries among traders that it could escalate into a wider conflict.
The BSE Sensex, which was in positive territory in the morning session, nosedived 572 points at one point post noon just after the army made announcement in a press conference. It was trading at 27,936.58, still down 356 points or 1.3% at 1pm. Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading down 111 points or 1.3% at 8,633.80.
“Panic set in among traders after news spread that the government had conducted surgical strikes. Tensions between India and Pakistan have already been high, and there are concerns if these strikes would escalate the matter into a wider conflict,” said Sageraj Bariya, vice-president at East India Securities.
ICICI Bank was the biggest loser, down 3.8% after its arm ICICI Prudential Life Insurance made a tepid debut on the stock exchanges.
Shares of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance listed at 1.5% below its issue price on Thursday, and slipped further. The stock was down 8.5% at Rs 305.65 versus its issue price of Rs 334 in afternoon trades.
Among other major losers, SBI, Sun Pharma, Adani Ports and Axis Bank were down more than 2%.