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Sensex logs second-worst single-day fall in 2020 as Coronavirus fear roils global markets

BSE 30-share S&P Sensex ended 806 points lower at 40,363 and NSE 50-share index Nifty50 closed 242 points lower at 11,838

Rupa Burman Roy | February 24, 2020 | Updated 18:23 IST
Sensex logs second-worst single-day fall in 2020 as Coronavirus fear roils global markets
Tata Steel (6.39%), ONGC (4.72%), Maruti (4.24%) and HDFC 3.29% were the top Sensex losers

Equity market benchmarks Sensex and Nifty extended losses in the afternoon session, logging the second-worst single-day fall of this year as spread of Coronavirus infections outside China roiled global markets. On February 1 this year, Sensex had closed 987 points lower with Nifty losing 318 points after Union Budget failed to enthuse Dalal Street.

Sensex opened 133 points lower at 41,037 compared to the previous close of Rs 41,170. Nifty too started on a weak note at 12,012, down 68 points compared to the previous close of Rs 12,010. However, domestic market came under pressure from global markets as Coronavirus claimed more lives outside China.

This dampened sentiments at home with India VIX soaring 25.63% signalling heightened volatility. BSE 30-share S&P Sensex ended 806 points lower at 40,363 and NSE 50-share index Nifty50 closed 242 points lower at 11,838. All Sensex stocks ended in the red. Tata Steel (6.39%), ONGC (4.72%), Maruti (4.24%) and HDFC 3.29% were the top Sensex losers.

Meanwhile, BSE mid cap and small cap indices lost 250 points and 233 points to 15,444 and 14,513 in trade today. Market breadth was negative with 726 stocks closing higher compared to 1,796 falling on BSE. 176 stocks remained unchanged. Consumer durables, banking, auto and metal stocks led the losses with their BSE indices falling 643 points, 561 points, 589 points and 550 points respectively.

BSE IT index which was trading in the green earlier on weaker rupee also ended in the red losing 169 points to 16,176. While realty and media scrips ended 2% lower, all the other sector-based indices fell 1% by Monday's closing bell. On Thursday, S&P Sensex ended 152 points lower at 41,170 and NSE 50-share index Nifty50 closed 45 points lower at 12,080.

"We expect the markets to be choppy in the near term as global sentiments continue to remain muted," said Ajit Mishra, VP from Research, Religare Broking Ltd.

"Market breadth was sharply negative. Near term, markets have strong momentum on the downside and recoveries are unlikely to sustain as and when they come. Traders should look to have a sell on rise approach, said Manav Chopra, CMT, Head Research - Equity, Indiabulls Ventures Ltd.

In terms of Bank Nifty, that closed 1.5% lower, he further added," Index is trading below all near term key averages which suggest upward momentum is fractured.

Shares of metal companies such as JSW Steel, Hindalco Industries, Vedanta and Tata Steel ended in red amid a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases reported outside China and on worries over its impact on global economic growth.

"Despite domestic prices remaining relatively resilient, we see risk in the near term, primarily from higher export volumes from China," said Edelweiss in its report and maintained 'BUY' on JSPL and Tata Steel, 'HOLD' on JSW Steel, and 'REDUCE' on SAIL.

F&O expiry on February 27 could also induce some volatility during the week. Moreover, investors also await any positive outcome from the US President's India visit in terms of strategic partnership/trade deal, experts said.

"The Trump-Modi meet is not providing clues to the market regarding trade deal but market is hoping for some hint in the future," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

In technical terms, Nifty failed to consolidate between range and broke its support of 11,950 level and fell further to trade at day low near 11,821 level. Future downside level can be seen towards 11,750-11,630, traders said.

With global markets taking a hit, gold prices crossed Rs 44,000 per 10 gm for the first time ever. Yellow metal soared Rs 953 to Rs 44,472 per 10 gram in the national capital on weaker rupee and rise in global prices, according to HDFC Securities.

Silver prices also rose by Rs 586 to Rs 49,990 per kg from Rs 49,404 per kg.

Global markets

International markets extended fall in the afternoon session after Reuters reported that Afghanistan has announced the first confirmed case of coronavirus.

Additionally, Wuhan's local government later in the day revoked its earlier announcement over easing lockdown and relaxing some of its travel restrictions in order to allow some people to leave, which further led to jittery global markets. Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, has been under lockdown for a month.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Sunday that the deadly coronavirus epidemic could put an already fragile global economic recovery at risk, as G20 financial chiefs discussed ways to contain its economic ripple effects.

The World Health Organization has also warned about the growing number of cases without any clear link to China.

Britain's FTSE 100 sank 3.5% to 7,147, while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 3.7% to 5,806. Germany's DAX fell 3.6% to 13,086. The FTSE MIB in Italy, which has seen a surge in new cases that lead to the lockdown of towns and businesses, dropped 4.6% to 23,620.

South Korea reported another large leap in new cases on Monday. The 70 latest new cases raised South Korea's total to 833, and two more deaths raised its toll to seven. The latest updates sparked selling of shares, pulling the benchmark Kospi 3.9% lower to 2,079.04.

Brent crude oil prices gave up $2.86, or 5%, to $55.64 per barrel.

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