Sensex tanks over 450 points, Nifty below 12,000; Rupee slips 30 paise

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published: February 24, 2020 10:19:21 am

Share Trading at a firm in Kolkata. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Market benchmark Sensex plummeted over 450 points in opening session on Monday tracking intense selloff in global equities amid rising concerns over Chinese coronavirus epidemic.

After sinking 497 points in opening session, the 30-share barometer was trading 410.12 points, or 1 per cent, lower at 40,760.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading down by 135.85 points, or 1.12 per cent, at 11,945.

Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, cracking over 4 per cent, followed by HDFC, ITC, ICICI Bank, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC and PowerGrid.

On the other hand, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Sun Pharm and HUL were trading with gains.

In the previous session on Thursday, the Sensex settled 152.88 points, or 0.37 per cent, lower at 41,170.12, and Nifty slipped 45.05 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 12,080.85.

Financial markets remained closed on Friday on account of ‘Mahashivratri’.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,495.25 crore, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 699.62 crore on Thursday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

According to traders, spike in coronavirus cases outside China has spooked global investors.

South Korea went on high alert Sunday following a sharp jump in coronavirus cases, and Italy and Iran took their own drastic containment steps.

Further, 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 on Monday.

Bourses in Seoul plunged over 3 per cent after South Korea reported 161 more coronavirus cases Monday, taking the nationwide total to 763 and making it the world’s largest total outside China.

Stock exchanges in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo were also trading significantly lower.

Brent crude oil futures fell 2.52 per cent to USD 56.48 per barrel.

On the domestic front, traders said investors are likely to take cues from US President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India. He will reach Ahmedabad later in the day.


The Indian rupee declined by 30 paise to 71.94 against the US dollar in opening trade on Monday amid muted opening in domestic equities and strengthening of the American currency overseas.

Besides, as investor sentiments remained fragile amid coronavirus fears.

Forex traders, however, said easing crude oil prices supported the local unit and restricted the fall to some extent.

The rupee opened weak at 71.94 at the interbank forex market, down 30 paise over its last close.

The local unit however pared some initial losses and was trading at 71.83 against the US dollar at 0951 hrs.

The rupee had settled at 71.64 against the US dollar on Friday.

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