The Indian equity benchmarks stayed in bear grip for the fifth straight session on Tuesday amid worsening situation in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine -- Donetsk and Luhansk -- as independent. The sharp spike in crude oil prices and sustained selling by foreign portfolio investors also dragged the market lower.

The BSE Sensex has declined 757 points in the last five sessions amid escalation in Russia-Ukraine issue, while NSE Nifty dropped 299 points during this period.

The domestic markets opened sharply lower today amid Ukraine concerns, but rebounded strongly in the final hour of trade amid bargain hunting in beaten down stocks. The Sensex dropped nearly 1,300 points intraday but reversed most of the losses to settle 383 points, or 0.6%, lower at 57,300.6. In a similar trend, the Nifty50 index rebounded 248 points from intraday low to settle at 17,092, down 114 points or 0.6%.

In a similar fashion, the broader markets also settled lower, with the S&P BSE Midcap and Smallcap index falling 0.7% and 1.62%, respectively.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was negative, with 2,792 shares falling out of a total of 3,720 traded stocks. Only 801 shares advanced and 127 were unchanged.

"Escalation in Russia-Ukraine issue and a sharp surge in oil prices forced global markets to plunge sharply. Indian equities opened with heavy losses tracking overnight fall in the global market and its adverse spill over to commodity prices. However, the domestic market managed to trim down its losses during the late session. Continued offload by FIIs has increased volatility while DIIs are adding position", according to Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Barring power, all sectors end in red

The market witnessed broad-based selling with all sectoral indices closing in red, barring power index. The power sector ended 0.32% higher, led by Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy, Adani Power and NTPC.

The BSE realty index was the biggest loser with 3% loss, led by Macrotech Developers, DLF, Sunteck Realty, Prestige Estates Projects, and Sobha.

The realty index was followed by PSU space, which fell 1.35%. The loss in public sector units (PSU) was led by Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, NHPC, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

Top gainers and losers

The BSE barometer Sensex reeled under selling pressure today with 20 of top 30 shares closing in negative terrain. The top loser on the Sensex pack was Tata Steel, the country’s largest steel maker, which ended 3.6% lower. The other top laggards include Tata Consultancy Services, State Bank of India, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, and IndusInd Bank, which dropped up to 3.5%.

On the flip side, Bajaj Finserv topped gainers’ chart by rising 1.36% on the BSE. The other top performers include Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC, and Sun Pharma, which climbed up to 1.3%.

Global equities drop amid Ukraine crisis

Global equity markets witnessed selling pressure on Tuesday amid looming fear of potential war in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced it will send a "peacekeeping" foce into eastern Ukraine's two breakaway regions. The U.S. markets were closed on Monday due to the Presidents Day public holiday.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong emerged as the biggest loser by falling 2.7%. It was followed by Japan’s Nikkei 225, which ended 1.7% higher.

The Straits Times Index in Singapore dropped 1%, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.4%, and Australia’s ASX 200 index slipped 1%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen component and the Shanghai composite nosedived 1.3% and 0.96%, respectively.

In a similar trend, European stocks also opened lower amid tensions at the Ukraine border. Germany’s DAX dropped 1.2% in early trade, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.5%. France’s CAC index shed 0.9%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 fell 0.5%.

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