Sensex nosedives 1,709 points to 3-year low, Nifty below 8,500-mark as stimulus measures fail to cheer markets; banking, telecom stocks dive
The Sensex swung over 2,488.72 points in a highly volatile session, before ending 1,709.58 points or 5.59 percent lower at 28,869.51.
The equity benchmark indices extended the morning losses to the afternoon session as well and plunged to three-year low even as the talks of stimulus measures to cushion the economic blow of the COVID pandemic failed to cheer markets across the globe.
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) March 18, 2020
The sell-off on Dalal Street continued as the traders worried over rising coronavirus cases and tough stance by the Supreme Court on the AGR dues of telecom operators.
The Sensex slipped below 29,000-mark for the 1st time since 10 March 2017 in a highly volatile session on Wednesday and the broader Nifty also slipped below 8,500-mark for the first time since 25 January 2017.
The Sensex swung over 2,488.72 points in a highly volatile session, before ending 1,709.58 points or 5.59 percent lower at 28,869.51. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 498.25 points, or 5.56 percent, down at 8,468.80 .
IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, plummeting over 23 percent.
PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and NTPC also finished significantly lower, reported PTI.
ONGC and ITC were the only stocks in the index that ended with gains.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) were in the red with Nifty private bank down by 6.9 percent, financial service by 6.6 percent, realty by 6.2 percent and auto by 4.4 percent.
Shares of telecom companies suffered a sudden plunge in the afternoon after the Supreme Court refused further relief on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.
Vodafone Idea dropped by 34.85 percent to Rs 3.16 per share, Bharti Airtel by 6.14 percent and Tata Teleservices by 4.17 percent. Banking stocks too came under selling pressure.
IndusInd Bank plunged by 24.58 percent to Rs 455.65 per share while Kotak Mahindra Bank closed 11.23 percent lower and HDFC Bank slipped by 7.66 percent.
The other prominent losers were Bharti Infratel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Hero MotoCorp, UPL, Titan and Mahindra and Mahindra. However, Zee Entertainment jumped by over 26 percent and Yes Bank was up by 4.1 percent to Rs 61.10 per share as it prepared to resume operations in the evening after the moratorium on private sector lender is lifted.
The other prominent winners were IT major Tata Consultancy Services, ITC, Tata Steel and State Bank of India. Traders said domestic equities failed to hold on to early gains as concerns over an economic recession continued to hammer investor sentiment.
"Indian markets ended at three year lows, with Nifty below the 8,500 mark, in tandem with Asian and European markets after global agencies warned of a global recession following the impact of COVID-19. At the same time, rising infections in India and associated disruption in businesses led to India's GDP growth forecasts also being downgraded. This will also affect the government's fiscal maths, which was already tight," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
"Additionally, with the supreme court not providing any respite to telecom players, the banking stocks which have exposure to the telecom sector were most impacted today. Nifty Bank index fell by around 7 percent," Nair said.
Earlier in the day, S&P Global Ratings lowered India's economic growth forecast to 5.2 per cent for 2020, saying the global economy is entering a recession amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency had earlier projected a growth rate of 5.7 percent during the 2020 calendar year.
Asia-Pacific economic growth in 2020 will more than halve to less than 3 percent as the "global economy enters a recession", S&P said in a statement.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Japan too plunged up to 4.86 percent.
Equity benchmarks in Europe tumbled up to 4 percent in early trade.
US President Donald Trump has proposed an economic package which could approach $1 trillion, a rescue initiative not seen since the great recession of 2008.
Further, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a $6.5 billion package for its developing member countries to fight the pandemic.
The number of deaths around the world linked to COVID-19 has topped 7,400, with over 1,80,000 infections recorded globally so far.
In India, the number of infected cases stood at 130, as per the union health ministry.
The rupee depreciated 12 paise to 74.36 against the US dollar (intra-day).
Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell over 3.48 percent to $27.73 per barrel.
--With inputs from agencies
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