Biggest Nifty Falls (Worst Single Day Falls: Updated 2021)

Do you want to know about the Biggest Single Day Falls in Nifty? So you are at the right place. Let me share some details of the biggest Nifty Falls in history in one day. Or as many would like to call it, the worst single-day falls in Nifty in history.

So to answer your question upfront:

Q: What is the Biggest 1-Day Fall in Nifty?

A: The Biggest single-day Nifty fall in history has been on 23rd March 2020, when the Nifty fell by -1135.20 points or -13.0% during the day.

When it comes to comparing the worst Nifty crash data, there are actually 2 ways to look at the biggest Nifty fall data.

One is in percentage terms while the other is in absolute terms. The correct way to look at the biggest Nifty one-day fall in history data is to use the percentage approach. And I will share the list shortly. But before that, let’s look at the absolute points biggest Nifty fall in a day data for the last 30 years of Nifty:

Top 20 Biggest Nifty One-Day Falls (Crashes) in terms of Absolute points:

  • 23-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -1135.2 points (or -12.98%)
  • 12-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -868.25 points (or -8.30%)
  • 16-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -757.80 points (or -7.61%)
  • 26-Feb-2021 – Nifty fell by -568.20 points (or -3.76%)
  • 04-May-2020 – Nifty fell by -566.4 points (or -5.74%)
  • 09-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -538 points (or -4.90%)
  • 12-Apr-2021 – Nifty fell by -524.1 points (or -3.53%)
  • 18-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -498.25 points (or -5.56%)
  • 21-Jan-2008 – Nifty fell by -496.5 points (or -8.70%)
  • 24-Aug-2015 – Nifty fell by -490.95 points (or -5.92%)
  • 21-Dec-2020 – Nifty fell by -432.15 points (or -3.14%)
  • 28-Feb-2020 – Nifty fell by -431.55 points (or -3.71%)
  • 30-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -379.15 points (or -4.38%)
  • 24-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -359.15 points (or -12.20%)
  • 01-Apr-2020 – Nifty fell by -343.95 points (or -4.00%)
  • 24-Sep-2020 – Nifty fell by -326.30 points (or -2.93%)
  • 18-May-2020 – Nifty fell by -313.6 points (or -3.43%)
  • 22-Jan-2008 – Nifty fell by -309.5 points (or -5.94%)
  • 22-Feb-2021 – Nifty fell by -306.05 points (or -2.04%)
  • 01-Feb-2020 – Nifty fell by -300.25 points (or -2.51%)
  • 15-Oct-2020 – Nifty fell by -290.70 points (or -2.43%)

And why did I said earlier that it’s better to look at the worst Nifty fall data in terms of percentages and not in absolute points term? That’s because as Nifty rises and scales new heights, the daily change numbers will become bigger and bigger due to the base effect.

So to be able to compare Nifty one day worst fall data across years and for different Nifty levels and eras, its best to look at the Nifty daily change data in terms of percentage rise or fall.

Now let’s look at the worst single-day Nifty falls in terms of their percentage drops.

And that is the correct way of looking at the fall or rise data for Nifty.

Do note that here, we are only looking at the Nifty data from the year 2000 onwards, i.e. for the last 20+ years history. There have been instances of bigger percentage falls in Nifty before 2000 that we will check out a little later.

So here it is.

Top 20 Biggest Nifty One-Day Falls (Crashes) in terms of Percentages since year 2000:

  • 23-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -1135.2 points (or -12.98%)
  • 17-May-2004 – Nifty fell by -193.65 points (or –12.24%)
  • 24-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -359.15 points (or -12.20%)
  • 21-Jan-2008 – Nifty fell by -496.5 points (or -8.70%)
  • 12-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -868.25 points (or -8.30%)
  • 14-May-2004 – Nifty fell by -135.1 points (or -7.87%)
  • 16-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -757.80 points (or -7.61%)
  • 04-Apr-2000 – Nifty fell by -106.65 points (or -6.95%)
  • 18-May-2006 – Nifty fell by -246.2 points (or -6.77%)
  • 11-Nov-2008 – Nifty fell by -209.6 points (or -6.66%)
  • 10-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -233.7 points (or -6.65%)
  • 07-Jan-2009 – Nifty fell by -192.4 points (or -6.18%)
  • 13-Mar-2001 – Nifty fell by -73.25 points (or -6.11%)
  • 17-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -194.95 points (or -5.96%)
  • 22-Jan-2008 – Nifty fell by -309.5 points (or -5.94%)
  • 24-Aug-2015 – Nifty fell by -490.95 points (or -5.92%)
  • 06-Jul-2009 – Nifty fell by -258.55 points (or -5.84%)
  • 04-May-2020 – Nifty fell by -566.4 points (or -5.74%)
  • 24-Jul-2000 – Nifty fell by -79.5 points (or -5.69%)
  • 06-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -215.95 points (or -5.66%)
  • 18-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -498.25 points (or -5.56%)

Now if we look at the biggest Nifty fall data from the year 1990 onwards, i.e. for the last 30+ years of historical data, then here are the changes in the above table

Here it is.

Top 20 Biggest Nifty One-Day Falls (Crashes) in terms of Percentages since year 1990:

  • 23-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -1135.2 points (or -12.98%)
  • 17-May-2004 – Nifty fell by -193.65 points (or -12.24%)
  • 24-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -359.15 points (or -12.20%)
  • 28-Apr-1992 – Nifty fell by -150.76 points (or -11.77%)
  • 12-May-1992 – Nifty fell by -105.73 points (or -11.07%)
  • 21-Jan-2008 – Nifty fell by -496.5 points (or -8.70%)
  • 06-May-1992 – Nifty fell by -94.44 points (or -8.54%)
  • 31-Mar-1997 – Nifty fell by -89.5 points (or -8.46%)
  • 12-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -868.25 points (or -8.30%)
  • 28-Oct-1997 – Nifty fell by -88.2 points (or -7.87%)
  • 14-May-2004 – Nifty fell by -135.1 points (or -7.87%)
  • 16-Mar-2020 – Nifty fell by -757.80 points (or -7.61%)
  • 11-May-1992 – Nifty fell by -76.68 points (or -7.43%)
  • 17-Apr-1999 – Nifty fell by -77.5 points (or -7.42%)
  • 05-Oct-1998 – Nifty fell by -64.2 points (or -7.09%)
  • 15-Oct-1990 – Nifty fell by -30.37 points (or -7.07%)
  • 04-Apr-2000 – Nifty fell by -106.65 points (or -6.95%)
  • 18-May-2006 – Nifty fell by -246.2 points (or -6.77%)
  • 11-Nov-2008 – Nifty fell by -209.6 points (or -6.66%)
  • 10-Oct-2008 – Nifty fell by -233.7 points (or -6.65%)

So those were the Top 20 biggest single-day falls in Nifty in percentage and absolute points terms. No doubt there was complete mayhem in the markets on the days of these falls.

Further Reading – Biggest One Day Sensex Falls in History

And do note these are Nifty fall figures at the closing Nifty levels of the day. Generally, on such days, the volatility is quite high and the Nifty touches even lower levels during the day, called intra-day lows. So out of curiosity, if we were to consider the biggest intra-day Nifty falls in history, then the order of falls will change a bit.

Further Reading: Nifty historical Annual Returns and also read about Nifty Monthly Returns.

Talking of the biggest market crashes in Indian markets, the markets in general fall of the cliff on any given day due to a variety of reasons. For example, the multiple biggest fall entries in the month of March 2020 were due to the pandemic. Then in other years, it was due to local events like sudden political changes in India or events like Demonetization or at times, other international events.

By the way, if you invest in index funds in India, then even these Nifty index funds too will replicate the 1-day fall pattern in their return profiles on the days of such huge Nifty crashes. Talking of indices, apart from the bellwether index of Nifty50, there are several other indices managed by NSE as well. You can read details about these indices like Nifty Nex50, Nifty Midcap 150, etc. in the detailed article titled All Nifty Indices Explained (Nifty50, Nifty Next 50, Nifty 500 plus 10 other indices).

Related Readings: If you are interested in looking at how nifty valuations impact future Nifty50 returns, then you might want to read about this very Detailed Nifty PE Ratio and Return Analysis. Also, do not forget to read these 2 important points about the Nifty PE Ratio that most people are not quite aware of. You might also like reading about Nifty 5-year return analysis for interesting insights.

So that’s it.

There have always been big triggers that cause the highest fall in Nifty in one day. And some of the worst 1-day fall in Nifty were clubbed in events like the 2008 stock market crash, the 1992 stock market crash, pandemic 2020, etc.

Though no one can accurately offer anything about the next Indian stock market crash prediction, the fact is that looking at the historical biggest Nifty fall data in 1 day gives some perspective about what has happened in Nifty history and what range of falls might be store for the future worst Nifty one-day crashes or falls.

So now you know about the biggest fall in Nifty history (up to 2021). I hope you found this article that gave all the details of the biggest Nifty falls or worst single day Nifty fall in the last 20 and 30 years interesting.

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