Coronavirus carnage continues at Sensex, investors suffer Rs 7 lakh crore loss

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted over 2,100 points and the Nifty gave up the 7,900 level in opening session on Thursday as global gloom over the COVID-19 pandemic continued to hammer equities.

After sinking over 2,152 points, the BSE barometer was trading1,812.19 points or 6.28per cent lower at 27,057.32 at 9.30am. Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 520.85points, or 6.15 per cent, down at 7,947.95 after dropping below 7,900 in early session.

Thanks to the downfall, investor wealth worth Rs 7.22 lakh crore was wiped off within 15 minutes of trading. The market capitalisation slipped from Rs 113 lakh crore of Tuesday’s closing to Rs 106 lakh crore in the opening session on Thursday.

The rupee too depreciated 60 paise to 74.96 against US dollar in morning session, nearing the ‘psychological’ low of 75 to a dollar. It, however, subsequently recovered to 73.98.

In the previous session, the 30-share BSE index closed 1,709.58 points or 5.59 per cent lower at 28,869.51. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty plummeted 498.25points, or 5.56per cent, to end at 8,468.80.

Bajaj Finance was the top loser, tanking up to 12 per cent, followed by HCL Tech, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and M&M, while Power Grid and NTPC were the only gainers.

According to traders, European Central Bank’s (ECB) euro 750 billion stimulus package failed to lift investor sentiment, stoking the already-peaking fears of an economic recession.

Faced with a growing economic shutdown amid the new coronavirus pandemic, the ECB on Wednesday announced a surprise euro 750-billion scheme to purchase government and corporate bonds, as it joined other central banks in stepping up efforts to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo plunged up to 8 per cent.

Incessant foreign fund outflow also kept domestic market participants risk averse, traders said.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 5,085.35crore on Wednesday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures rose over 1.61 per cent to $25.28 per barrel.

The number of global COVID-19 infections has shot past 2,00,000. Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000.

Cases in India rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the health ministry.

(PTI)

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