Sensex plunges over 800 points, Nifty crashes below 21,500 at close

Sensex down by 800 points, Nifty falls to 21,500.

Shantanu Poswal
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The Indian stock markets experienced a downturn on Tuesday, erasing some of the sharp gains made in the previous session. The benchmark Nifty 50 index on the National Stock Exchange was 0.99% down at 21,522.10 points, while the Sensex index on the Bombay Stock Exchange dropped 1.11% to 71,139.90 points as of 3:20 PM IST.

Financial stocks were the primary drag on indices, led by a nearly 5% plunge in Bajaj Finance shares to a five-month low. The non-banking financial company posted weaker-than-expected profit growth in the December quarter, while asset quality deteriorated.

 According to analysts, "Given the asset quality deterioration, credit cost is likely to remain elevated in the near term."

However, information technology stocks bucked the downtrend, adding 0.85% ahead of the US Federal Reserve's rate decision and commentary on Wednesday. The Fed outlook will provide important cues on rate trajectory and foreign investor strategy.

Other major movers included a 3% jump in Bharat Petroleum after stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, while NTPC shed 3% on lower revenue. Engineering firm KEC International rose 3% after winning new orders worth Rs1,304 crore.