Investor wealth has eroded by over Rs 7 lakh crore in two days of market crash as sentiment remained muted amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country. The 30-share BSE Sensex tumbled 740.19 points or 1.51 per cent to close at 48,440.12 on Thursday. In two days, the benchmark index has plunged 1,611.32 points or 3.21 per cent.

Tracking the weak sentiment, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies declined by Rs 7,00,591.47 crore to Rs 1,98,75,470.43 crore in two days. ''The selling pressure has intensified in the last couple of sessions owing to weak global cues and concerns over the second wave of COVID cases,'' said Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd. All BSE sectoral indices closed lower, with telecom, power, auto, energy, utilities and realty declining as much as 3.14 per cent.

''Increased rate of infection across the country and world is creating more pessimism in the market, which has increased today due to monthly expiry. After the stellar rally, the market was on a consolidation stage during the last one month, which amplified post the sudden rise in infection impacting future economic growth,'' Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Maruti was the biggest loser in the 30-share BSE benchmark pack, dipping 3.98 per cent, followed by HUL, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, NTPC, Bajaj Finance and UltraTech Cement.

Only four companies managed to close in the green — Dr Reddy's, ICICI Bank, HDFC and L&T, rising up to 0.74 per cent. In the broader market, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices declined up to 2.22 per cent. At the BSE, 2,247 companies declined, while 706 advanced and 168 remained unchanged.