Stocks edged lower on Wednesday as coronavirus cases continued to rise in Asia’s third-largest economy during an ongoing nationwide lockdown.
Starting the new financial year on a negative note, the 30-share BSE barometer was trading 714.74 points or 2.43 percent lower at 28,753.75.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 199 points, or 2.31 per cent, to 8,398.75.
In the previous session, the Sensex closed the financial year 2019-20 higher by 1,028.17 points or 3.62 percent at 29,468.49. The Nifty rose 316.65 points, or 3.82 percent, to close at 8,597.75.
However, during the fiscal, the Sensex plunged 9,204.42 points or 23.80 per cent, while the Nifty sank 3,026.15 points or 26.03 percent.
In the first hour of trading, Kotak Bank was the top loser cracking up to 8 percent, followed by SBI, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Tech Mahindra and UltraTech Cement.
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) April 1, 2020
On the other hand, IndusInd Bank and PowerGrid were the gainers.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net sellers in the capital market, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 3,044.94 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.
S Hariharan, Head-Sales Trading, Emkay Global Financial Services told PTI that for the month of April, macro risk appetite driven by news flow around potential peaking of fresh COVID-19 cases would be the key driving force for foreign flows, while domestic funds continue to use the correction to increase equities allocation in dynamic asset allocation funds.
Ratings agency S&P Global on Monday cut its estimate for the country’s economic growth for the full-year ending in 2021 to 3.5 percent from 5.2 percent.
Asian stocks hold on to gains
Asian stocks clung to gains on Wednesday, helped by a bounce in Australian shares, but risks for equities remain large as the coronavirus pandemic rattles the underpinnings of the global economy.
E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 traded 1.39 percent lower in Asian trade, highlighting the cautious mood.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.23 percent. Australian shares jumped by 2.87 percent, reversing a 2 percent decline on Tuesday, as a slowdown in new coronavirus cases and rising iron ore prices lifted the market.
Shares in China, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, rose 0.18 percent, supported by hopes the world’s second-largest economy has started to recover.
China’s factory activity improved in March after plunging a month earlier, a private survey showed on Wednesday, just scraping into positive territory and beating analysts’ expectations.
Shares in South Korea, also hit hard by the virus, rose 0.19 percent, but Japanese shares fell 1.05 percent as a rapid increase in coronavirus infections in Tokyo fuelled speculation the government will place the capital on lockdown.
Wall Street tumbled on Tuesday, with the Dow registering its biggest quarterly fall since 1987 and the S&P 500 its steepest quarterly drop since a decade ago on growing evidence of the massive downturn the pandemic will incur.
US economic activity is likely to be “very bad” and the unemployment rate could rise above 10 percent because of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester told CNBC.
“Investors still want to buy equities, but the coronavirus is making everyone more cautious,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co in Tokyo.
“There are still a lot of risks out there, but if you can identify individual shares with good dividend yields and strong financials, then you can buy at a pretty good price.”
--With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 01, 2020 10:25:14 IST