Domestic stock markets gave in to losses led by financial stocks in late afternoon deals on Tuesday, as global markets continued to bear the brunt of the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P BSE Sensex index plummeted as much as 995.13 points from the previous close to hit 30,394.94 on the downside, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark declined to as low as 8,915.60, down 281.8 points from the previous close. Those losses came in stark contrast compared to intraday highs of 32,047.98 and 9,403.80 touched by the Sensex and Nifty respectively in the first half of the session.
The Sensex ended 810.98 points (2.58 per cent) lower at 30,579.09, and the Nifty settled at 8,967.05, down 230.35 points (2.50 per cent) from the previous close.
Thirty six stocks in the Nifty basket of 50 shares ended lower. The biggest losers in percentage terms were Zee Entertainment, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Infratel, UPL and Tata Motors, closing between 6.39 per cent and 20.44 per cent lower.
On the other hand, Yes Bank was the top percentage gainer, settling 59.43 per cent higher for the day. Yes Bank shares soared as much as 72.91 per cent to Rs 64.15 apiece on the BSE during the session, compared with their previous close of Rs 37.10, after credit ratings major Moody’s upgraded its rating on the troubled private sector lender and changed its outlook to “positive”.
Other Nifty gainers were Eicher Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Unilever and Maruti Suzuki, which ended between 2.59 per cent and 3.71 per cent higher.
Banking and financial services stocks were the worst hit. The Nifty Bank – comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country – settled 4.51 per cent lower, after falling as much as 5 per cent during the session. Financial stocks have a weightage of 42 per cent in the Nifty 50 benchmark.
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday announced steps to tackle the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy, but left interest rates unchanged, adding that it stands ready to take any further measures as necessary.
While some analysts said the gains on Tuesday were just a blip and investors were still in panic mode, others sounded hopeful of more government support to reduce the severity of the virus outbreak, which has wreaked havoc on businesses and supply chains.
“There is potential that the RBI might do more, and there is hope,” said Anand James, chief marketing strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
Most Asian shares fell on Tuesday a day after Wall Street’s historic market rout, with fleeting initial gains evaporating as the coronavirus remained a major risk to economic growth. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gave up early gains to trade 0.43 per cent lower. Japan’s Nikkei stock index slid 2.79 per cent and South Korea’s KOSPI was off 3.2 per cent. Australian shares were up 0.5 per cent although this followed a massive plunge of almost 10 per cent on Monday.
US stock futures rose by their daily limit in Asian trading, driven in part by hopes for big US fiscal spending, after the S&P 500 on Monday suffered its third-largest daily percentage decline on record.