Coronavirus Hits Sensex, NIFTY; Further Downfall Inevitable

Equity market in India saw one of its worst crashes on Thursday as the coronavirus gripped Sensex and Nifty. Latest coronavirus infected person is from Ghaziabad who recently traveled to Iran, taking the current toll of infected people in India to 30. Experts suggest that a further downfall is inevitable if the cases increase.

Sensex and NIFTY Hit by Coronavirus

The declaration of 28 positive coronavirus cases by Union Health Minister sent jitters across the stock market. While S&P BSE Sensex tumbled to 38,409, down by 0.55% or 214 points, Nifty 50 settled at 11,254, marking a decline of 0.43 percent or 49.10 points. Further, Foreign Portfolio Investors pulling Rs 13,400 crore from domestic equities have also contributed to the market fall. 

Gainers and Losers

Market Breadth remained weak and favored sellers as four out of every five shares declined. Out of 2,534 companies trading on the BSE, 1,706 declined and 696 gained while the rest remained unchanged. Sector-wise, banks, metals and media stocks slipped while pharma stocks and IT counters gained. Also, Cipla, Sun Pharmaceutical, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Asian Paints and Power Grid Corporation were the top gainers in Nifty. However, Tata Steel, Yes Bank, Eicher Motors, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank led the losers pack.

Shares of Airline Companies Down

18 Sensex stocks ended in red, in which banks and financial stocks contributed the most to losses. IndusInd Bank became the biggest Sensex loser with a slippage of 4.56 percent. Also, the shares of airline companies plunged owing to traders’ expectations of less travel. While SpiceJet was slid 7.06 percent, Interglobe Aviation was down 4.34 percent. However, despite such a weak environment, Initial Public Offer (IPO) by SBI Cards and Payment Services registered a 15.06 times subscription on the third day of the bidding process. 

Global Markets

A sudden rate cut by 50 basis points by the US Fed failed to calm the investors. As a result, European shares struggled for footing and hence pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent. Also, Asian shares struggled to find direction after an emergency rate cut by the Fed stoked the virus fears. While Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.7 percent, stocks in Hong Kong, China and Japan traded flat.

In all, the domestic market including Sensex and NIFTY are highly volatile as the increasing coronavirus cases pose serious challenges to economic activity.  

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