Sensex tanks 807 points as COVID-19 alarm spreads globally

Sensex tanks 807 points as COVID-19 alarm spreads globally

BSE closes at 40,363.23; NSE 11,829.40

Mumbai: Indian stock benchmark Sensex on Monday sank nearly 807 points, the second biggest single-day fall this year, tracking sell-offs in global markets as coronavirus cases rose exponentially outside China.

Starting off on a weaker note, the BSE gauge plunged to a day's low of 40,306.36 after being caught in a panic selling as investors kept fretting over reporting of a large number of new virus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran.

The 30-share index finally settled at 40,363.23, dropping 806.89 points or 1.96 per cent -- the second biggest one-day fall in 2020. The Sensex had plunged over 987 points on February 1 this year -- the day the Union Budget was presented.

While, the broader NSE Nifty sank 251.45 points or 2.08 per cent to 11,829.40. All Sensex components ended in the red, with Tata Steel cracking 6.39 per cent, followed by ONGC, Maruti, HDFC, Titan and ICICI Bank.

Sectorally, BSE metal index tumbled nearly 6 per cent, auto 3.39 per cent and telecom 3.33 per cent. All sectoral indices closed in the red. In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap indices sank up to 1.60 per cent.

Globally, equities bore the brunt of worsening trading sentiment in the wake of rising virus cases on new regions other than China.

South Korea went on high alert on Sunday following a sharp jump in coronavirus cases, and Italy and Iran took their own drastic containment steps. "Demand for safe-haven assets spiked as fresh coronavirus cases in South Korea and Italy indicated that business impact could be higher than thought earlier.

The Trump-Modi meet is not providing clues to the market regarding trade deal, but market is hoping for some hint in the future," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.

Further, the IMF also warned that the deadly epidemic could put an already fragile global economy recovery at risk. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday said the coronavirus epidemic is the country's "largest public health emergency".

The death toll from the deadly virus climbed to 2,592 in China on Monday. Seoul stocks ended in deep red after South Korea reported 161 more coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the overall virus cases to 763 and making it the world's largest total outside China.

Bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong also closed with significant losses.

Stock exchanges in Europe sank in opening trade with Milan's FTSE MIB plunging over 4 per cent after Italy reported its fourth death from the virus as the number of people contracting the virus continued to mount.

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