Sensex plunges over 270 points, Nifty down 85 points amid mounting coronavirus woes; Mahindra, Tata Steel among top losers

  • The 30-share BSE index was trading 275.28 points lower at 40,866.57 at around 10.45 am, while the broader NSE was trading 89.85 points lower at 12,008.50

  • Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever and HDFC were the gainers

  • According to traders, domestic equities were trading on a negative note following weak cues from global equities

Equity benchmark indices plunged during the early trading on Monday amid mounting concerns over the impact of coronavirus on the global economy.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 275.28 points or 0.67 percent lower at 40,866.57 at around 10.45 am, while the broader NSE fell 89.85 points or 0.74 percent lower to 12,008.50.

Market benchmark Sensex had opened on a choppy note and dropped over 150 points.

 Sensex plunges over 270 points, Nifty down 85 points amid mounting coronavirus woes; Mahindra, Tata Steel among top losers

Representational image. Reuters.

In the previous session, Sensex closed 164.18 points or 0.40 percent lower at 41,141.85, and the Nifty settled at 12,098.35, down by 39.60 points or 0.33 percent.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 161.93 crore, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 178.59 crore on Friday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Mahindra and Mahindra was the top loser in the Sensex pack plummetting up to 5.20 percent.

Tata Steel, ONGC, Sun Pharma, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and Titan were also in the red.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever and HDFC were the gainers

 

According to traders, domestic equities were trading on a negative note following weak cues from global equities as concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic kept investors on edge.

Rupee rises 8 paise to 71.32

The rupee appreciated by 8 paise to 71.32 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday amid easing crude oil prices and weakening of the American dollar in the overseas market.

Forex traders said while weak dollar and easing crude oil prices supported the rupee, heavy selling in domestic equities weighed on the local unit and restricted the upmove.

At the interbank foreign exchange the rupee opened at 71.36, then gained further ground and touched a high of 71.32 against the US dollar, registering a rise of 8 paise over its previous close.

Asian stocks drop as death toll from coronavirus raises alarm bells

Stocks and oil fell while safe-haven gold rose on Monday as the death toll from a Coronavirus outbreak surpassed the SARS epidemic, raising alarm bells about its severity, Reuters said.

As many as 908 people have so far died in China’s central Hubei province as of Sunday with most of the new deaths in the provincial capital of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stumbled 0.7 percent to be on track for its second straight day of loss. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8 percent while South Korea's KOSPI was off 1.4 percent and Australian shares eased 0.5 percent .

The losses extended from Wall Street on Friday where the Dow fell 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.5 percent while the Nasdaq dropped 0.5 percent. E-mini futures for S&P 500 were down 0.3 percent on Monday.

“Expect markets to be sensitive to virus headlines. In this environment, we favour defensive positioning,” ANZ economists wrote in a note.

“Markets will be sensitive to Coronavirus news, as factories and ports in China reopen. The extent to which that is achievable will indicate the level of ongoing disruption,” they added.

As Chinese authorities made plans for millions of people returning to work after an extended Lunar New Year break a large number of workplaces and schools are still likely to remain closed and many white-collar employees will work from home.

Worries about the hit to the world’s second-largest economy has hurt investor risk appetite though confidence in China’s ability to contain the epidemic has prevented sharp losses.

China’s central bank has taken a raft of measures to support the economy, including reducing interest rates and flushing the market with liquidity. From Monday, it will provide special funds for banks to re-lend to businesses working to combat the virus.

Despite the measures, many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns as authorities ordered virtual lockdowns, cancelled flights, closed factories and shut schools.

On Friday, Singapore raised its Coronavirus alert level and reported more cases not linked to previous infections or travel to China.

An advance team of international experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) left for Beijing to help investigate the epidemic, the Geneva-based agency said on Sunday.

The virus has dominated broader market sentiment with better-than-expected US. jobs data on Friday failing to lift sentiment.

Non-farm payrolls increased by 225,000 jobs in January, with employment at construction sites increasing by the most in a year amid milder-than-normal temperatures, the Labor Department said.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes US10YT ticked higher to push yields down to 1.5645 percent.

Euro zone bond yields fell after German industrial output tumbled in December to notch its biggest fall since January 2009, fanning concerns about the bloc’s biggest economy.

The euro held near four-month lows at $1.0950.

The dollar slipped against the yen to be on track for a second straight day of losses. It was last at 109.61 yen.

The Australian dollar AUD considered a liquid proxy for China plays, briefly hit an 11-year low of $0.6679. It fell 0.2 percent last week to clock its six straight weekly loss.

That left the dollar index flat at 98.662.

Oil prices slipped as Russia said it would need more time before committing to output cuts along with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers amid falling demand for crude as China battles the Coronavirus.

Since Jan. 17, oil prices have fallen by 14 percent while copper has is down around 10 percent.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures declined 52 cents to $53.95 a barrel, while US crude CLc1 futures slipped 45 cents to $49.87 a barrel.

US gold futures GCv1 added 0.3 percent at $1,577.5 an ounce. Spot gold was higher at $1,574.4.

--With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2020 17:11:25 IST