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The benchmark 30-share S&P BSE Sensex declined 227 points, or 0.61 percent, in the initial tick to 37,158.
Indian benchmark indices the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty 50 started sharply lower on Monday after oil prices surged over 10 percent, which could impact India’s current account deficit.
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Oil prices jumped to an over six-month high and shares in Asia edged lower as investors moved to safe-haven assets after attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil facility. However, new government measures to prop up the economy and continued foreign capital inflows may cap losses.
The benchmark 30-share S&P BSE Sensex declined 227 points, or 0.61 percent, in the initial tick to 37,158. The broader 50-share NSE Nifty50 also dipped 75 points, or 0.67 percent, to 11,001.
Broader market indices also fell in tandem with their frontline peers with the Nifty MidCap 100 down by 98.50 points, or 0.62 percent, at 15869. The Nifty SmallCap 100 also fell well over half a percent, while the banking gauge slipped 0.85 percent.
Barring IT, all major sectors fell in early trade with finance, pharma, consumer, auto and metal among the worst-performing counters.
IT shares were leading as the rupee weakened against the US dollar. ONGC, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro shares gained by up to 2 percent.
A Jefferies research report indicated that ONGC and Oil India will benefit but oil marketing companies may suffer due to Saudi attack.
Downstream public sector refiners, paint companies and index heavyweight Reliance Industries came under pressure as oil prices surged. BPCL, Indian Oil Corp, Yes Bank, Reliance Industries and Asian paints slipped between 2 and 4.6 percent.
Shares of Prabhat Dairy fell 10 percent intraday as the delisting price of Rs 63.77 per share has been set at a 20 percent discount.
Bharat Electronics shares went up by 4 percent as the company bagged Rs 5,357 crore order from the Indian Air Force.
Meanwhile, in the currency market, the rupee opened at 71.57 against the US dollar, snapping a 7-day rally as a rise in global crude prices weighed on the domestic unit.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who were net buyers for the past few sessions, offloaded shares worth Rs 405.45 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.
In debt markets, the yields on the 10-year government bonds were down 0.41 percent at 6.64 percent from the previous close of 6.66 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
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Disclosure: Reliance Industries, the parent company of Reliance Jio, owns Network 18 that publishes CNBCTV18.com.