Sensex crashed 349 points, its biggest single-day fall in nearly three weeks, to close at 27,527.22, reflecting pessimism across world markets after a new poll showed Donald Trump nosing ahead of Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race.
The NSE Nifty also succumbed to selling pressure and slipped below the 8,600-mark to finally end at an over three-month low of 8,514, down 112.25 points or 1.30 per cent.This was the lowest closing since July 21.
An anxiety gripped the market as it opened gap-down and traded in negative bias reflecting global peers amid growing concerns over the fate of US presidential elections.
Besides, a caution prevailed among investors as they are keenly awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said, “Market witnessed intense selling on US election jitters and the FED policy today.
The opinion poll suggests a neck to neck competition. Investors believe the volatility will rise until the expectation on US election is really factored in. Fed is likely to maintain the key rates but market is focusing on any signs of rate hike trajectory.”
The financial markets were jolted after an ABC News-Washington Post poll released on Tuesday showed Trump with 46% support to Clinton’s 45%. The first ever lead in the poll saw unwinding of bets on Clinton’s victory.
The 30-share index stayed in the negative terrain for the whole day and settled lower by 349.39 points, or 1.25 per cent -- its biggest single-day fall since October 13 -- at 27,527.22. Today’s closing level was the same as on October 17 when the Sensex had closed at 27,529.97.
Central bank policy meetings also weighed on sentiment. The US Federal Reserve was to review its monetary policy later today, while the Bank of Japan kept its stimulus programme unchanged at its meeting yesterday. The gauge had lost 64.90 points in the past two sessions.
ONGC was the top Sensex loser, skidding 4.10 per cent to close at Rs 277.35, followed by Tata Motors, which fell 3.19 per cent to Rs 514.
Others that put pressure included SBI, Sun Pharma, RIL, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy’s, Cipla, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Asian Paint and ICICI Bank, falling by up to 2.75 per cent.