The benchmark indices have weakened in mid-morning trades, in line with the Asian markets. The Sensex has shed more than 300 points and the Nifty has slipped below the 11,200 mark, dragged by weakness on the metal counters as data from China’s metal association showed the country’s non-ferrous metal output will decline at least 10 per cent in February following the coronavirus outbreak.
At 10:45 a.m, the Sensex was quoting at 40,825, lower by 316 points and Nifty was at 11,998, down 100 points. The broader markets were also trading weak; the BSE Midcap index had shed 0.8 per cent to 15,778 and BSE Smallcap index had lost 0.4 per cent to 14,771. All the BSE sectoral indices traded in the negative, with metal and auto indices shaving off 2.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stumbled 0.7 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.8 per cent and South Korea’s KOSPI was off 1.4 per cent.
In commodities, oil prices extended their decline as the specter of excess supplies loomed as the coronavirus outbreak hit demand in China. Brent crude slipped 38 cents to $54.09 a barrel.
Metal stocks took it on the chin as the coronavirus continued to spread its tentacles across China. The death toll in China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to 811 on Sunday, surpassing the number of fatalities in the SARS epidemic. Tata Steel plunged 5 per cent to Rs 447, while Vedanta and Hindalco lost nearly 3 per cent each.
In the auto space, M&M shed 5 per cent to Rs 540 and Tata Motors lost 2.4 per cent to Rs 169.
On the other hand, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Finance and ICICI Bank were the only Sensex-50 stocks to buck the weak trend; the three stocks gained up to half a percent each on the BSE.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 2,052 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,167 declining stocks as against 763 advances.