MUMBAI:  Fund-based selling largely in frontline and large-cap stocks wiped out Rs 2.95 lakh crore in investor wealth. Benchmark indices Nifty fell by 302.7 points to 17213.6 while the Sensex tanked by 1024 points to 57621.

FIIs sold a provisional Rs 1,157 crore on Monday, taking their sales in February to Rs 9,936 crore and in the fiscal year so far to Rs 7,3231 crore, including Monday’s provisional figure, or well over $9.5 bn.  DIIs sold a provisional Rs 1,376 crore of shares.

Financial, FMCG, and infra companies bore the brunt of selling with Sensex’s losses led by the HDFC and Bajaj twins and Larsen & Toubro, which shed 3-4%. The uncertainty in the market was underscored by fear gauge India Vix rising by 8.14% to 20.44.

“Today’s losses were led by fund-based selling,” said Siddarth Bhamre, director, alternative investments and research, InCred Equities. “Frankly, we didn’t see this coming and will have to rework our outlook.”
The carnage was less in the midcaps and small caps with the Nifty Midcap 100 closing down 1% and the Nifty Smallcap 100 correcting 1.3%.

The FIIs underscored their bearish stance by shorting Rs 1067 crore of index futures — Nifty and Bank Nifty. “FIIs’ selling of stocks and futures shows the texture of the market is weak, for now,” said Hormuz Maloo, director, AFco Investments.

The major near-term support for Nifty kicks in at 17000 while resistance is at 17300, followed by 17500.
Both the Sensex and the Nifty closed around 7.5% below their all-time highs of October 19, 2021. Nifty record high is 18604.45 while Sensex all-time high is 62245.43.

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