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Sensex plunges most since Budget day on coronavirus scare

Sensex plunges most since Budget day on coronavirus scare

NEW DELHI: Extending declines for the second-consecutive session, equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty cracked in Monday’s trade tracking intense selloff in global markets amid rising concerns over Chinese coronavirus epidemic.

Analysts said markets witnessed selling across the board on renewed concerns surrounding the impact on the global economy due to rising cases of the deadly coronavirus outside China. Shares of metal companies slipped up to 6 per cent as rising inventories in select commodities over the rapid spread of COVID-19 stoked fears of oversupply .

The sentiments were further dampened after IMF warned that the deadly epidemic could put an already fragile global economic recovery at risk.

Analysts believe that markets will continue to remain jittery until the virus comes under complete control.

Market participants are now looking forward to the GDP data for the third quarter of current fiscal year (FY20) which will be out later in the week for further cues on the direction of the market. According to think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India’s economic growth for the current fiscal is likely to come in at 4.9 per cent, a tad down from 5 per cent estimated by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Oil prices tumbled by 3 per cent as the rapid spread of the coronavirus in several countries outside China left investors fretting about a hit to demand. Brent crude was down $1.78, or 3 per cent, to $56.72 a barrel by 0755 GMT, after falling to an intraday low of $56.53 earlier. US crude futures fell by $1.53, or 2.9 per cent, to $51.85.

Meanwhile, gold prices climbed more than 2 per cent as spikes in coronavirus cases in several countries outside China deepened worries about a hit to the global economic growth, prompting a flight to safe havens.

Market at a glance

BSE Sensex plunged 806.89 points, or 1.96 per cent, to 40,363.23, while NSE Nifty ended at 11,838.60, down 242.25 points or 2.01 per cent.

In the 30-pack Sensex, all 30 stocks ended in the red with Tata Steel finishing as the worst performer down over 6 per cent.

The BSE Midcap index declined 1.60 per cent while the BSE Smallcap index slipped 1.58 per cent.

BSE Metal index recorded 5.71 per cent loss on the sectoral return chart, followed by Telecom, Auto, Energy and Healthcare indices.

In terms of index contribution, RIL, HDFC, ICICI Bank, TCS and Axis Bank were the top drags on Sensex.

Global markets

On the global front, Asian shares closed lower as the spread of the coronavirus outside China darkened the outlook for world growth with infections and deaths rising in South Korea, Italy and the Middle East.

European stocks were trading lower in morning trade as investors feared the outbreak will take a bigger toll on global growth than anticipated. The pan-European STOXX 600 tumbled 2.5 per cent by 0816 GMT.

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