The topline equity indices on the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) settled over 2.5 per cent lower on Thursday taking cues from their global peers which fell after a sobering warning from the World Health Organization that the coronavirus may never go away. A dour assessment of the way back from the head of the US Federal Reserve too dashed hopes for a quick recovery.
This apart, domestically there was a mild reaction by investors to the announcement of relief package for MSMEs and the changes in TDS and EPF contributions made on Wednesday.
The S&P BSE Sensex cracked 885.72 points (2.77 per cent) to settle at 31,122.89, while the Nifty 50 ended the day at 9,142.75, down 240.80 points (2.57 per cent). Both the indices had opened around 2 per cent lower earlier in the day and slipped nearly 3 per cent during the intraday trade.
As many as 23 of the 30 stocks in the Sensex ended lower on Thursday. Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Power Grid were the biggest laggards on the BSE benchmark. (see heatmap below)
All the sectoral indices on NSE except Nifty FMCG and Nifty Pharma ended in a sea of red. The Nifty IT index was the worst performer of the day, crashing 3.51 per cent weighed by MindTree, Tech Mahindra and Infosys. The IT index was closely followed by Nifty Financial Services index which fell 3.35 per cent dragged by ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company and Edelweiss Financial Services.
Here’s how the sectoral indices performed:
In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index closed at 11,536.11, down 45.61 points (0.39 per cent), while the S&P BSE SmallCap ended at 10,706.48, down 67.95 points (0.63 per cent).
The rupee slipped 10 paise to close at 75.56 against the US dollar on Thursday, tracking weak domestic equity markets, news agency PTI reported.
The local currency opened weak at 75.57 and finally settled at 75.56 against the greenback, down 10 paise over its previous close. It had settled at 75.46 against the US currency on Wednesday.
World stock markets fell for a third day running on Thursday after a sobering warning from the World Health Organization that the coronavirus may never go away.
The head of the Federal Reserve quashed talk of US interest rates going negative to kickstart investment and new outbreaks of the virus in South Korea and China and some dour assessments of the global economy aroused concern too.
Europe’s main bourses sank 1.5 per cent in early moves as traders once again took shelter in safe-haven government bonds.
“The path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks,” the Fed Chair Jerome Powell said of the economy, as he warned of a recession worse than any since World War Two.
His suggestion that the Fed’s firepower may not be sufficient to avert deep damage also clearly spooked markets. He called for additional fiscal support but a $3 trillion stimulus bill seems to have run aground with senate Republicans for now.
Asian markets had followed Wall Street lower overnight with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares finishing down 1.3 per cent and Japan’s heavyweight Nikkei closing 1.75 per cent in the red.
– with global market input from Reuters
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