All of the 11 sectors on the National Stock Exchange traded deep in the red
Domestic stock markets suffered big losses in early trade on Thursday following a gap-down opening, in tandem with the global peers’ continuing struggle to find their footing against the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index dropped as much as 2,155.05 points to hit 26,714.46 on the downside shortly after starting the day down 1,096.15 points at 27,773.36, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 – which started the session at 8,063.30 – plummeted to 7,832.55, down 636.25 points from its previous close, battered by a selloff across sectors before trimming some losses. Analysts say domestic fundamentals have taken a back seat, with several major markets around the globe having entered a bear phase thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are 10 things to know about the big selloff in markets today:
At 9:23 am, the Sensex traded 1,991.01 points – or 6.90 per cent – lower at 26,878.50 while the Nifty was down 575.25 points – or 6.79 per cent – at 7,893.55.
The Nifty Bank index – comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country – was down 8.59 per cent at the time. The financial sector has a weightage of 42 per cent in the Nifty.
All of the 11 sectors on the National Stock Exchange traded deep in the red. All of the 50 stocks in the Nifty basket moved lower; worst hit were Bharti Infratel, Bajaj Finance, Bharat Petroleum, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, down between 12.04 per cent and 17.04 per cent.
Equities in other Asian markets tumbled, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan plunging 4 per cent to an almost four-year low. Australia’s benchmark erased an early 3 per cent rise to trade 2 per cent in the red, Korea’s Kospi fell 6 per cent. Markets in Hong Kong and China fell.
The dollar surged and bonds plunged as the European Central Bank’s latest promise of stimulus provided only brief solace while the world struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 5 per cent, taking its losses over a month to nearly 30 per cent. US stock futures also fell 2 per cent, signalling more trouble in the coming session.
The ECB on Wednesday pledged to buy 750 billion euro ($820 billion) in bonds through 2020, with Greek debt and non-financial commercial paper eligible under the programme for the first time.
It follows emergency interest rate cuts around the globe, enormous fiscal support packages and six central banks promising discount dollars to alleviate a squeeze in greenback funding. But so far none of it has been able to put a floor under dire sentiment, and some $15 trillion in shareholder value has been wiped out in little more than a month of heavy selling.
On Wednesday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had shed 1,709.58 points – or 5.59 per cent – to end at 28,869.51 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark settled at 8,468.80, down 498.25 points – or 5.56 per cent – from the previous close, as the markets pared some of the losses after the 50-scrip index hit a new three-year low during the session.
Meanwhile, credit ratings major Standard and Poor’s (S&P) lowered the forecasts for India to 5.2 per cent from the earlier 5.7 per cent, adding the timing of a recovery depends most of all on progress in containing the Coronavirus spread.