Equity benchmark indices witnessed heavy selling across the board in the early trade on Monday, in line with global peers, following a jump in the number of coronavirus cases outside China and concerns grew that global economic growth could take a hit.
Market benchmark Sensex plummeted over 450 points while NSE Nifty slipped below 12,000-mark in the opening session.
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18Live) February 24, 2020
After sinking 497 points in the early session, the 30-share barometer was trading 393.87 points, or 0.96 percent, lower at 40,776.25 at around 10.45 am.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading down by 124.05 points, or 1.03 percent, at 11,956.80.
Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, cracking over 4 percent, followed by HDFC, ITC, ICICI Bank, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC and PowerGrid.
On the other hand, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Sun Pharm and HUL were trading with gains.
Except for Nifty IT, all sectoral indices at the NSE were in the negative zone with Nifty metal plunging by 3.1 percent, pharma by 1.7 percent and auto by 1.6 percent.
Among stocks, Hindalco suffered the most with a fall of 5.5 percent at Rs 179.55 per share. Tata Steel dropped by 3.8 percent, JSW Steel by 3.4 percent and Vedanta by 3.3 percent.
Auto stocks too took a dip with Tata Motors slipping by 2.6 percent, Eicher Motors by 2.3 percent and Maruti by 2 percent. ITC, ICICI Bank and HDFC slipped by nearly 2 percent each.
However, IT major gained with Infosys up by 1.4 percent at Rs 808,45 per share. Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Service and Wipro witnessed marginal gains.
In the previous session on Thursday, the Sensex settled 152.88 points, or 0.37 percent, lower at 41,170.12, and Nifty slipped 45.05 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,080.85.
Financial markets remained closed on Friday on account of 'Mahashivratri'.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,495.25 crore, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 699.62 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.
According to traders, spike in coronavirus cases outside China has spooked global investors.
Rupee slips 30 paise to 71.94
The rupee declined by 30 paise to 71.94 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday amid muted opening in domestic equities and strengthening of the American currency overseas.
Besides, as investor sentiments remained fragile amid coronavirus fears.
China's death toll from the new coronavirus rose to 2,592 on Monday.
Forex traders, however, said easing crude oil prices supported the local unit and restricted the fall to some extent.
The rupee opened weak at 71.94 at the interbank forex market, down 30 paise over its last close.
Asian shares, oil prices slid
Meanwhile, Asian shares and oil prices slid as the spread of the coronavirus outside China darkened the outlook for world growth.
South Korea's Kospi index fell about 3 percent while Chinese shares opened down with the blue-chip CSI300 index easing by 0.6 percent.
That left MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan off by 1.6 percent at its lowest since early February. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
South Korea put the country on high alert while the number of infections jumped to over 700 and deaths rose to seven. In Italy, three deaths were reported while the number of cases jumped to above 150.
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions as fears mounted that the coronavirus outbreak in China will grow into a pandemic with deadly consequences for countries around the world.
Further, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned that the deadly epidemic could put an already fragile global economy recovery at risk.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday said the coronavirus epidemic is the country's "largest public health emergency". The death toll from the deadly virus climbed to 2,592 on Monday.
On the domestic front, traders said investors are likely to take cues from US President Donald Trump's two-day visit to India. He will reach Ahmedabad later in the day.
— With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2020 11:15:24 IST