The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes plummeted on Monday as lockdown in various cities across the country led to panic selling, which wiped out Rs 14.22 lakh crore of investors’ wealth from BSE-listed companies. Trading in stocks was halted in the first hour of Monday’s trade as the main indexes plunged 10 per cent and resumed 45 minutes later. This was the market’s second halt this month as the spread of coronavirus continues to disrupt businesses. After trading resumed, the Sensex crashed as much as 4,035 points or 13.5 per cent and Nifty 50 index slumped 1,162 points or 13.28 per cent at the day’s lowest level.
The Sensex ended 3,935 points or 13.15 per cent lower at 25,981 and Nifty 50 index sank 1,135 points or 13 per cent to close at 7,610. Both the benchmarks fell to the levels last seen nearly four years ago, news agency Reuters reported.
Over the weekend in India, the virus forced several companies to shut operations and the government sent states into lockdown, bringing normal life to a grinding halt. As of Sunday, India had registered 341 cases of coronavirus, with seven deaths.
Foreign investors have been selling shares in the Indian markets and resorting to cash. The foreign investors till last Friday sold shares worth Rs 49,506 crore.
Selloff was visible across sectors with the banking and financial services shares worst hit.
All the 11 sector gauges compiled by BSE ended lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index’s 17.4 per cent drop. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Auto, Metal and PSU Bank indexes also fell 11-16 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares fell in-line with their larger peers as the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes tumbled 13 per cent.
All the 50 shares in the Nifty 50 basket ended in the red. Axis Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock nosedived 28 per cent to close at Rs 310. Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Zee Entertainment, Maruti Suzuki, Grasim Industries, JSW Steel, Larsen & Toubro and Vedanta also fell between 16-27 per cent each.
The overall market breadth was extremely bearish as 1,703 shares closed lower while 129 ended higher on the BSE.