Domestic stock markets fell around 5 per cent amid a selloff in financial and automobile stocks on Monday, tracking weakness in global peers as the number of coronavirus cases increased around the world. The S&P BSE Sensex index plummeted more than 1,500 points during the session to hit 28,290.99 on the downside, and the broader NSE Nifty dropped as much as 416.25 points to crack below the 8,250 mark, having started the session down 274.3 points at 8,385.95. A selloff across sectors – with the financial, auto and metal stocks the worst hit – pulled the markets lower.
The Sensex ended 1,375.27 points – or 4.61 per cent – lower at 28,440.32, and the Nifty settled at 8,289.35, down 370.90 points (4.28 per cent) from the previous close.
Analysts expect the domestic markets to move in tandem with global peers in the near term as investors around the globe assess the degree of impact the pandemic on world economy. Positive coronavirus cases rose above 1,000 in India as of Sunday evening, government data showed, while the total number of deaths touched 27.
“Investors fear that the COVID-19 outbreak could bring the economy to a grinding halt,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities.
Equity markets elsewhere in Asia suffered sharp losses. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 1.93 per cent lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 3.23 per cent.
Crude oil benchmarks extended last week’s losses, due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic and continuation of the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war. Brent futures – the global benchmark for crude oil rates – were last seen trading 5.6 per cent lower at $23.53 per barrel.
On Friday, US markets succumbed to losses, halting their best three-day bounce in almost a century as the number of cases across the country skyrocketed. 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, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite benchmarks fell 3.37 per cent and 3.79 per cent respectively.