Sensex tanks 764.83 pts to end at 57,696.46 in closing bell; Nifty down by 204.95 pts
Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 765 points on Friday, dragged by losses in index-heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and Kotak Bank, after India reported its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Centre on Thursday said two cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka. Both the patients are men, aged 66 and 46 years, with mild symptoms. Severe symptoms have not been noted, an official said.
The 30-share BSE index ended 764.83 points or 1.31 per cent lower at 57,696.46. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 204.95 points or 1.18 per cent to 17,196.70.
PowerGrid was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 4 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, Kotak Bank, Tech Mahindra and Bharti Airtel.
On the other hand, L&T, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
According to Gaurav Garg, Head of Research, Capitalvia Global Research, traders are concerned with the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo ended with gains, while Hong Kong was in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude surged 2.38 per cent to USD 71.32 per barrel.