Sensex plunges over 2700 points

Mon 23 Mar 2020, 11:21:17
Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted over 2,700 points in opening session on Monday as global stocks resumed their free fall amid coronavirus-led lockdowns across the world stoking fears of a massive recession.

The rupee too plunged 92 paise against US dollar to 76.12.

After sinking over 2,718 points, the BSE barometer was trading 2,430.57 points or 8.12 per cent lower at 27,485.39.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 682.35 points, or 7.80 per cent, down at 8,063.10.

All Sensex components were trading in the red, with Bajaj Finance tanking up to 14 percent, followed by Axis Bank, UltraTech Cement, ICICI Bank, Maruti and M&M.

In the previous session on Friday, equity markets witnessed a relief rally after four days of fall. The BSE benchmark ended 1,627.73 points or 5.75 percent higher at 29,915.96. The Nifty zoomed 482 points, or 5.83 per cent, to close at 8,745.45.

During the last trading week till Friday, the Sensex plummeted 4,187.52 points or 12.27 per cent, while the Nifty sank 1,209.75 points or 12.15 per cent.

According to traders, extreme lockdown measures taken by government in India and world over has put immense pressure in investor sentiment.

As the virus cases climbed, the central and state governments in the country decided to lock down 75 districts from where Covid-19 cases have been reported to break the chain of transmission, and the Health Ministry said states would earmark hospitals to exclusively treat coronavirus patients.

Putting in place a tighter framework to curb high market volatility, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday announced revising market wide position limit for stocks in the derivatives segment, flexing dynamic price bands and other measures for one month starting from March 23.

These steps would limit short selling of shares as well as reduce volatility in individual stocks.
Stock exchanges and regulatory officials, however, dismissed suggestions about curtailment of trading hours in wake of the pandemic.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul plunged up to 4 per cent, while Tokyo was trading with gains.

Incessant foreign fund outflow also kept domestic market participants risk-averse, traders said.
On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 3,345.95 crore on Friday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures fell 3 per cent to USD 26.17 per barrel.

The number of global Covid-19 infections has shot past 3,00,000. Worldwide fatalities topped 14,000.

Cases in India rose to 390 over the weekend, according to the Health Ministry.

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