Stocks are off to another volatile day with the Nifty and the Sensex hitting limit down within the first hour of trading as concerns loom that the coronavirus pandemic could shut down the global economy.
Analysts have come out with various estimates about the likely economic impact of the pandemic. Let’s just say things don’t look very good at the moment.
Join us as we cover the top business stories through the day.
Rupee tanks to all-time low against US dollar
The rupee has weakened past the 76/USD mark for the first time in history as the demand for dollars continues to shoot up amid high economic uncertainty.
PTI reports on the development: “The Indian rupee slipped further by 95 paise to 76.15 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday amid sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and heavy selling in domestic equities.
Forex traders said market participants are concerned that the sharp rise in coronavirus cases, with nearly 400 cases in the country, could weigh on the economy.
The rupee which opened on a weak note at 75.90 at the interbank forex market, lost further ground and touched a low of 76.15 against the US dollar, registering a decline of over 95 paise over its last close.
The local unit had settled at 75.20 against the US dollar on Friday.”
Trading halted as Sensex hits limit down
Trading in stocks has been halted for 45 minutes after the Sensex hit the lower circuit this morning. Early signals from SGX Nifty this morning had suggested that the indices would hit limit down.
The Nifty was close to 7,900 when trading halted, threatening to breach an important support level.
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Sensex crashes over 2,000 points, Nifty below 8,100
Stocks have crashed once again this morning amid fears that the coronavirus pandemic could cause a significant shutdown of the economy.
The Sensex at the moment is down over 2,000 points while the Nifty is below the 8,100 mark.
It is worth noting that the Nifty found support at around the 8,000 mark last week. Overnight, US stock futures hit limit down.
Ashish Rukhaiyar offers more details:
The 30-share Sensex was down 2,172.17 points or 7.26% to trade at 27,743.79. The broader Nifty was at 8,122.40, down 623.05 points or 7.12%.
The VIX index jumped almost 7% in the first hour of the session. More than 1,100 stocks were in the red, as against around 120 gainers. In the Sensex pack, all 30 stocks were in the red with financials and automobiles leading the declines.
Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, Maruti Suzuki India, M&M, ITC and Hero Motocorp were anong the top losers, shedding over 8% each.
Sebi introduces new trading rules to tackle market volatility
To mitigate the extreme levels of volatility seen in stocks, the chief markets regulator has imposed position limits and other restrictions.
Reuters reports on the revised trading rules that come into effect today: “The country’s market halved position limits for certain stock futures, restricted short-selling of index derivatives and raised margin rates for some shares in a bid to curb “abnormally high” volatility.
The measures will come into effect from March 23 and continue for one month.”
Here is Sebi’s original circular and subsequent clarification to dispel concerns.
Sensex, Nifty expected to open limit down
The bechmark indices, judging by the open in the SGX Nifty this morning, are all set to hit the circuit breaker at open.
The Nifty had notably hit the lower circuit earlier this month, just minutes after trading began on March 13.
Analysts attribute the fall to the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic in India, which has led to the shutdown of economic activity in several cities across the country.