This Article is From Mar 30, 2020

Sensex Falls Over 1,500 Points, Nifty Cracks Below 8,250 Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Analysts expect volatility to persist in the markets in the near term as investors assess the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown on the economy.

Sensex Falls Over 1,500 Points, Nifty Cracks Below 8,250 Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Losses in financial, automobile and metal stocks pulled the markets lower

Domestic stock markets fell around 5 per cent amid a selloff in financial and automobile stocks on Monday, tracking weakness in global peers as the number of coronavirus cases increased around the world. The S&P BSE Sensex index plummeted more than 1,500 points during the session to hit 28,290.99 on the downside, and the broader NSE Nifty dropped as much as 416.25 points to crack below the 8,250 mark, having started the session down 274.3 points at 8,385.95. A selloff across sectors - with the financial, auto and metal stocks the worst hit - pulled the markets lower.

Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:

  1. However, the markets trimmed some of the losses minutes after hitting the intraday lows in late afternoon deals. At 3:11 pm, the Sensex traded 1,331.71 points - or 4.47 per cent - lower at 28,483.88, while the Nifty was down 364.20 points - or 4.21 per cent - at 8,296.05.

  2. In the Nifty basket of 50 components, 38 stocks moved lower. Top percentage laggards at the time were Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Tata Steel, HDFC bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank, down between 7.37 per cent and 11.41 per cent each. On the other hand, Cipla, Tech Mahindra, Nestle and Dr Reddy's - up between 2.84 per cent and 6.67 per cent each - were the gainers in the benchmark index. 

  3. HDFC (down 10.91 per cent), HDFC Bank (8.14 per cent) and ICICI Bank (7.38 per cent) together accounted for a decline of more than 750 points in the Sensex.

  4. Analysts expect the domestic markets to move in tandem with global peers in the near term as investors around the globe assess the degree of impact the pandemic on world economy. Positive coronavirus cases rose above 1,000 in India as of Sunday evening, government data showed, while the total number of deaths touched 27.

  5. "Investors fear that the COVID-19 outbreak could bring the economy to a grinding halt," said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities.

  6. The Nifty Bank index - comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank - was down 5.81 per cent, having fallen as much as 6.51 per cent earlier. Mid- and small-cap stocks also fell, with the S&P BSE Sensex Midcap and Smallcap indices down 2.03 per cent and 1.89 per cent respectively.

  7. On Friday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had declined 131.18 points (0.44 per cent) to end at 29,815.59 and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 8,660.25, down 18.80 points (0.22 per cent) from the previous close, as the markets lost steam following three days of gains.

  8. Equity markets elsewhere in Asia suffered sharp losses. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 1.93 per cent lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 3.23 per cent.

  9. Crude oil benchmarks extended last week's losses, due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic and continuation of the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war. Brent futures - the global benchmark for crude oil rates - were last seen trading 5.6 per cent lower at $23.53 per barrel.

  10. On Friday, US markets succumbed to losses, halting their best three-day bounce in almost a century as the number of cases across the country skyrocketed. Doubts about the fate of the US economy resurfaced and the number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed. The Dow Jones slumped 4.06 per cent, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite benchmarks fell 3.37 per cent and 3.79 per cent respectively.