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Opening Bell: Sensex down over 200 points, Nifty below 17,550; VIX up 3%

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Sensex and Nifty50 started Friday's session on a negative note tracking weakness across global markets. Auto stocks were in focus as manufacturers geared up to report their monthly sales.

Opening Bell: Sensex down over 200 points, Nifty below 17,550; VIX up 3%
Indian equity benchmarks started Friday's session on a weak note tracking sharp losses across global markets. Losses across most sectors led by financial, automobile and metal shares pulled the market lower. Both benchmarks extended losses soon after a gap-down start.
The Sensex index opened 236.6 points or 0.4 percent lower at 58,889.8 and the broader Nifty50 gauge began the day at 17,531.9, down 86.3 points or 0.5 percent from its previous close.
At 9:17 am, the 30-scrip index was down 405.9 points or 0.7 percent at 58,720.4 and the Nifty50 barometer down 141.8 points or 0.8 percent at 17,476.4.
Among blue-chip stocks, Hindalco, Maruti Suzuki, Adani Ports, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Bank and Sun Pharma, trading between 1.4 percent and 2.2 percent lower, were the top laggards.
On the other hand, ONGC, Indian Oil, Mahindra & Mahindra and Power Grid -- up 1.1-1.5 percent -- were the top performers among the nine gainers in the Nifty50 pack.
Broader markets fared better than the headline indices, with the midcap and smallcap gauges down 0.3 percent in early deals.
NSE's India VIX index -- which gauges the expectation of volatility in the near term -- was up more than three percent.
Analysts awaited monthly sales reports from auto manufacturers due later in the day for more clarity on the recovery path from the lows of COVID.
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Meanwhile, other Asian markets followed Wall Street sharply lower as risk sentiment soured amid growing worries that inflation may persist even after global growth has peaked.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan was down 0.6 percent, a day after Wall Street recorded its worst monthly decline since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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