Sensex Plunges Over 450 Points As Markets Hit 4-Month Lows: 10 Things To Know

Selling across sectors led by banking, information technology and automobile shares pulled the markets lower.

Sensex Plunges Over 450 Points As Markets Hit 4-Month Lows: 10 Things To Know

A selloff across sectors led by banking, IT and auto shares pulled the markets lower

Domestic stock markets suffered sharp losses on Thursday with benchmark indices hitting their lowest levels in four months, tracking weakness in Asian peers where investors gauged the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on world economy. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 465.69 points to hit 39,423.27 in morning deals, and the broader National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty benchmark dropped to as low as 11,536.70, down 141.8 points from the previous close. Those were the lowest intraday levels in the Sensex and Nifty recorded since October 29 and October 25 respectively.

Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:

  1. At 10:20 am, the Sensex traded 371.68 points - or 0.93 per cent - lower at 39,517.28 while the Nifty was down 112.80 points - or 0.97 per cent - at 11,565.70. On Wednesday, the indices had logged three-week closing lows

  2. A selloff across sectors, led by banking, information technology and automobile shares, pulled the markets lower. Market breadth was extremely negative with an advance-decline ratio of 1:4, as only 323 stocks rose on the NSE against 1,305 that traded lower.

  3. On the Nifty basket of 50 shares, 47 stocks traded lower at the time. Top percentage losers on the Nifty were Mahindra & Mahindra, JSW Steel, HCL Tech, GAIL and IndusInd Bank, down between 2.16 per cent and 2.64 per cent. 

  4. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC and TCS were the biggest drags on the Sensex, together accounting for a decline of more than 150 points in the index.

  5. Analysts awaited official macroeconomic data due by the end of the week for any signs of revival in economic growth. The government will release data on GDP or gross domestic product in the October-December period on Friday evening. (Here's What To Expect From Official GDP Data)

  6. "There are signs that the coronavirus is having an impact on the Indian economy. The market has corrected already and we still expect it to remain down," said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

  7. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday that the government is “closely monitoring” the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy, and that options are being gauged at various levels. 

  8. Equities in other Asian markets fell on Thursday, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan trading on either side of flat and Japan's Nikkei falling 1.4 per cent. Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones fell almost half a per cent and the S&P 500, 0.4 per cent - a slowdown from consecutive days of 3 per cent drops that have put the indices underwater for the year so far.

  9. Most new coronavirus cases are now being reported outside China - the origin of the outbreak - with South Korea, Italy and Iran emerging as new epicentres.

  10. Rising fears of a pandemic had already wiped more than $3.6 trillion from global stock markets by Wednesday's close. The virus has driven an enormous flight of assets out of Asia as investors try to isolate themselves from both the outbreak itself and the cost of what has now been more than a month of paralysis in the world's second-biggest economy.

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