Domestic stock markets are set for a gap-down opening on Monday amid weakness across Asian peers amid rising cases of the deadly coronavirus pandemic around the globe. At 8:12 am, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures – an early indicator of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty – traded down 212.65 points (2.46 per cent) at 8,438.75. Analysts expect volatility to persist in the markets in the near term as investors assess the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown on the economy.
On Friday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had declined 131.18 points (0.44 per cent) at 29,815.59 and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 8,660.25, down 18.80 points (0.22 per cent) from the previous close, as the markets lost steam following three days of gains.
Asian shares slid this morning and oil prices took another tumble as fears mounted that the global shutdown for the coronavirus could last for months, doing untold harm to economies. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2 per cent, while South Korea shed 2.7 per cent.
Crude oil benchmarks extended last week’s losses, on Monday, due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic and continuation of the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures hit a low of $19.92 in early trading and last traded down 5.2 per cent, or $1.12, at $20.39 a barrel as of 2332 GMT, while Brent futures fell 5.6 per cent, or $1.40, to $23.53 a barrel.
On Friday, Wall Street cut short a massive three-day surge after doubts about the fate of the US economy resurfaced and the number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed. The Dow Jones slumped 4.06 per cent to end at 21,636.78 points, while the S&P 500 lost 3.37 per cent to 2,541 and Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.79 per cent to 7,502.
The benchmark indices had ended on a mixed note on Friday despite the Reserve Bank of India’s surprise 75 basis points repo rate cut and cash reserve ratio cut of 1 per cent. The Sensex had closed 131 points lower at 29,815 and the NSE Nifty 50 index rose 19 points to end at 8,660.