Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices closed over half a per cent lower on Friday with steel stocks being under selling pressure as a sharp plunge in iron ore futures across the world spooked investors.
Rampant spread of COVID-19 Delta variant and faltering global growth prospects too kept traders from investing heavily in riskier assets. At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 300 points or 0.54 per cent at 55,329 while the Nifty 50 tumbled by 118 points or 0.71 per cent to 16,451.
Except for Nifty FMCG which rose by 2.8 per cent, all sectoral indices were in the negative terrain with Nifty metal plunging by 6.4 per cent, realty by 3.6 per cent, PSU bank by 3.4 per cent and auto by 1.6 per cent.
Among stocks, Tata Steel emerged as the worst performer with gains eroded by 8.8 per cent to Rs 1,367.70 per share.
JSW Steel lost by 7.2 per cent to close at Rs 684.45 while Hindalco was down by 5.8 per cent at Rs 402 per unit.
Agro-chemicals manufacturer UPL lost by 5 per cent, Tata Motors by 4 per cent, Adani Ports by 3.3 per cent, State Bank of India by 3.2 per cent and Dr Reddy's by 3 per cent.
However, FMCG majors were on a high with Hindustan Unilever up by 4.8 per cent to close at Rs 2,686.05 per share.
Britannia rose by 4.1 per cent, Nestle India by 3.1 per cent, Asian Paints by 3.5 per cent, Bajaj Finance by 1.4 per cent and HDFC Bank by 0.08 per cent.
Meanwhile, Asian shares extended losses from the 2021 low set a day earlier. Hong Kong shares were lower by 1.84 per cent as tech stocks weighed.
Japan's Nikkei was down by 0.98 per cent with investors eyeing increasing virus cases and South Korea's Kospi fell by 1.2 per cent.