Market fails to retain afternoon sharp recovery, ends in red for 4th straight session; Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank among top losers

The equity benchmark indices failed to retain the sharp recovery made in the afternoon and ended lower for the fourth consecutive session on Thursday amid fears about the impact of COVID-19 on global economy.

Market staged a comeback in the afternoon burying the morning losses to trade in the green. Sensex jumped nearly 2,500 from the early lows to above  29,000 level while Nifty regained 8,500-mark after plunging below 8,000 level to hit a four-year low on Thursday.

The Sensex was down 581.28 points or 2.01 percent at 28288.23, while Nifty was down 205.35 points or 2.42 percent at 8263.45 at close.

 Market fails to retain afternoon sharp recovery, ends in red for 4th straight session; Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank among top losers

Representative image. Reuters

Bajaj Finance was the major loser in the Sensex pack falling 10.24 percent. Other top losers included Axis Bank, Maruti, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, L&T and HCL Tech.

ITC, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank, Hero MotoCorp, PowerGrid and Infosys were the top gainers.

All the sectoral indices ended in the red, while BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell 3.7 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.

Midcap Index also jumped more than 700 points from lows in the afternoon trade.

In domestic trading, Nifty bank index recovered from over a 9 percent tumble to trade 1.26 percent lower.

The Nifty PSU Bank index which tanked 6.6 percent was last down 2.8 percent.

The Nifty Auto index, which dropped as much as 8.6 percent, trimmed losses to trade 6 percent lower.

“The sell-off was due to increased panic and now we are seeing some value buying,” said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

Indian benchmark indices opened in negative following subdued trades in Asian peers and US markets, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

"Global markets continued to trade with negative bias and high volatility amid fears over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic which continues to weigh on investor sentiments. During the afternoon session the markets showed marginal pullback but largely remained short-lived," he added.

According to traders, stimulus packages by global central banks and governments failed to lift investor sentiment in Asia, stoking the already-peaking fears of an economic recession.

Rupee falls below 75 level

The rupee weakened further and fell below 75 level against the US dollar on Thursday amid sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and weak domestic equities.

Forex traders said market participants are concerned that rise in coronavirus cases, which has touched 169 in the country according to the Health Ministry, could weigh on the economy.

The rupee which opened on a weak note at 74.96 at the interbank forex market, lost further ground and touched a low of 75.12 against the US dollar, registering a decline of over 86 paise over its last close.

The local unit had settled at 74.26 against the US dollar on Wednesday.

Asian markets plunge

South Korea's Kospi was the worst-hit index in the continent, plunging over 8 percent, followed by Hang Seng, Nikkei and Shanghai Compositive Index.

Bourses in Europe, however, turned positive after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a surprise EUR 750-billion stimulus package.

Faced with growing economic shutdowns, the ECB on Wednesday announced a surprise EUR 750-billion scheme to purchase government and corporate bonds, as it joined other central banks in stepping up efforts to contain the economic damage from the new coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures rebounded 5.55 per cent to $26.26 per barrel.

The number of global coronavirus infections has shot past 2,00,000. Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000.

The total active COVID-19 cases in India stood at 148 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.

World stocks crashed again on Thursday as emergency central bank measures in Europe, Japan, the United States and Australia failed to halt a fresh wave of panic selling.

-- With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Mar 19, 2020 17:37:56 IST

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