The Sensex fell by 302 points — or 1.8% — on Monday in yet another jolt to stock markets in a season of high volatility that has seen the 30-share benchmark lose as much as 20% of its value in the current financial year.
Concerns that crisis-hit Greece might either default on loan payments or not meet deficit targets under an austerity programme hit stocks hard, while metal stocks were hit by concerns over the new mining bill that might increase their costs.
Experts say retail investors should not panic in the face of the current volatility.
“There is no cause of worry for the retail investors who have invested for the long term in equities,” said Alex Mathew, research head, Geojit BNP Paribas Financials.Since April 1, the Sensex has lost 3,268 points. It closed on Monday at 16,152 after plunging to 16,056.33 , while the National Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nifty dropped 93.75 points to 4,849.5 after touching an intra-day low of 4,823.90.
“Global events are pulling down Indian market as investors around the world are concerned on the possibility of default by Greece,” said Rikesh Parikh, vice-president at brokerage and research firm Motilal Oswal Securities.
Indian stocks are helplessly tracking global markets.
Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong plunged by 4.4% on Monday. Germany’s DAX was down 3% while UK’s FTSE 100 closed down at 1.7%.
While stocks ebb, some are out to hunt for bargains, like 28-year-old Gopal Modi in Mumbai.
“I am planning to invest in large-cap companies as the valuations have become attractive now,” said Modi. “My investment horizon is of around 2 years and I expect healthy returns in that tenure.”
All the sectoral indices were in the negative territory on Monday. The realty sector index suffered the most, falling 4.59%, followed by the metals index, which fell 4%. The banking index, Bankex, lost 2.8%.
The shares that carry the highest pull in the Sensex, Reliance Industries Ltd and Infosys, which between them account for 20% of the weightage in the index, lost heavily. RIL lost 2.5% while Infosys fell 2.3%.