Sensex, Nifty recover partially as markets reopen after 45 minutes halt
Domestic stock markets started trading again after they plunged to a three-year low on Friday, triggering a “circuit breaker” for 45 minutes as panic over the fast-spreading coronavirus sent world markets crashing.
The S&P BSE Sensex index resumed trading at 29,389 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark at 8554.
Nifty had plunged 10.07% to 8,624.05 by 9:23am, while the benchmark Sensex sunk 9.8% to 29,564.58, with both indexes on course for their worst-ever week.
The rupee slid 0.2% on Friday to a record low of 74.5075 against the dollar.
Reliance Industries Ltd was the biggest drag on the indexes, dropping as much as 9.5% to its lowest since July 2018. HDFC Bank Ltd, India’s largest private-sector lender, shed 5.2%, while top IT firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd plunged 10.4% to a near two-year low.
Aviation stocks Spicejet Ltd and Interglobe Aviation Ltd extended their rout, sinking 10% and 12.8%, respectively, on Friday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declared coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, denting the investor sentiment further.
India reported its first death from the virus late on Thursday, and new cases continued to be on the rise 75 cases so far. Covid-19 has claimed over 4600 lives and infected more than 125,048 people across 118 countries and territories since it originated in China late in December last year.
Financial markets have taken a severe beating over the last few weeks as coronavirus disrupted businesses across the world.
Markets tanked after US President Donald Trump on Wednesday set curbs on travel from Europe to contain the pandemic, with the European Central Bank’s decision to hold back on rate cuts adding to the rout.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe dropped 9.51%, while Dow futures were down about 1% in Asia trading after suffering its worst crash on Thursday since Black Monday in 1987.
Investors even fled safe-haven assets like gold and bonds to cover their losses.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index was last down 10.07% at 8624.05 at 9:21am, on a more than three-year low. The S&P BSE Sensex was frozen at 29,687.52—down 9.43% or 3090.62 points compared to its previous close.
The BSE Sensex had plunged over 2919 points on Thursday in its biggest one-day fall in absolute terms as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on global markets.
The 30-share index settled 2919.26 points or 8.18% lower at 32,778.14 after nosediving over 3204.30 points during the day. Nifty gave up the 9600 level, slumping 868.25 points or 8.30% to close at 9590.15 on Thursday.
(With agency inputs)