Sensex plunges 158 points, Nifty below 9,900 mark in late morning deals

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex was down by 158.15 points to quote 31,651.40 in late morning session on selling pressure in key frontline shares of realty, healthcare and FMCG sectors reflecting the subdued global peers.

Worries about North Korea which is expected to conduct another nuclear test on its foundation day on Saturday weighed on global markets.

The 30-share Sensex opened lower at 31,713.50 and slid to a low of 31,586.53 on intense selling. The BSE barometer managed to recover some of losses on gains in Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank and Hindustan Unilever to trade at 31,651.40, still down by 158.15 points or 0.50 per cent.

The 50-share Nifty dropped below 9,900 level in early trade on losses in Sun Pharma, ITC and Lupin. The Nifty recovered some of the losses to regain the 9,900 level and was quoted at 9,916.10, down by 36.10 points, or 0.36 per cent at 1130 hours.

SunPharma fell by 2.94 per cent, ITC by 2.02 per cent, Lupin by 1.95 per cent and TataMtr Dvr by 1.85 per cent.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 846.53 crore on net basis yesterday, showed provisional data, while, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 474.36 crore.

Asian markets were trading lower as nations grapple with how to deal with escalating provocations from North Korea.

US stocks closed firmly lower yesterday as investors focused on heightened tensions between the West and North Korea and worries about a lack of progress on President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda.