Investors’ wealth slump over Rs 8 lakh crore in morning trade

On Thursday, investors’ wealth plummeted by almost Rs 8 lakh crore in less than an hour of trading, as Russia’s war on Ukraine sent stock markets down.

The market capitalisation of BSE-listed businesses fell to Rs 2,47,46,960.48 crore at roughly 10.15 a.m., as investors were alarmed by the rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

The market capitalization, a measure of investors’ notional wealth, was Rs 2,55,68,668.33 crore at the close of trade on Wednesday. This indicates a loss of almost Rs 8.2 lakh crore in wealth. The Sensex and Nifty fell more than 3% in early morning trade on Thursday, following major selloffs in global stock markets following Russia’s announcement of a military campaign in Ukraine.

The BSE Sensex fell by 1,718.99 points, or 3%, to 55,513.07, while the Nifty dropped by 508.85 points, or 2.98 percent, to 16,554.40.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, announced a military action in Ukraine on Thursday. Putin stated the Ukrainian “government” is to blame for the bloodshed in a televised address. Any attempt by other countries to meddle with Russia’s actions would result in “consequences they have never seen,” Putin warned.

Large explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa before daybreak as international leaders denounced the launch of an invasion that might result in catastrophic casualties, topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government, and jeopardise the continent’s post-Cold War equilibrium.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy imposed martial law, claiming that Russia was attempting to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure. Even as the country’s border guard agency reported an artillery barrage by Russian forces from neighbouring Belarus, Ukrainians who had long readied for an assault were told to stay home and not panic.

President Joe Biden announced further penalties against Russia in response to the attack that the international community had been anticipating for weeks but had been unable to avoid via diplomacy. Putin defended the attack in a public address, claiming that it was necessary to protect people in eastern Ukraine, which the US had feared he would make as a pretext for an invasion. He accused the US and its allies of neglecting Russia’s demands for security assurances and to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. He also asserted with scepticism that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukraine, but rather will work to “demilitarise” it and bring criminals to justice.