Sensex down by over 2,900 points in biggest one-day fall

The broader NSE Nifty gave up the 9,600 level, slumping 868.25 points or 8.30% to close at 9,590.15.

The BSE Sensex plunged over 2,919 points on Thursday in its biggest one-day fall in absolute terms as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on global markets.

After nosediving over 3,204.30 points during the day, the 30-share index settled 2,919.26 points or 8.18% lower at 32,778.14.

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Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty gave up the 9,600 level, slumping 868.25 points or 8.30% to close at 9,590.15.

All Sensex components ended in the red. SBI was the top loser, followed by ONGC, Axis Bank, ITC, Titan, Bajaj Auto, TCS and IndusInd Bank.

Also read | Data | Where does the March 9 market crash rank among the biggest falls in Sensex history?

Global markets reeled after the World Health Organization (WHO) termed the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, and expressed deep concern over the “alarming levels of inaction”.

US President Donald Trump suspended all travel from Europe, excluding the U.K., to the U.S. for the next 30 days to stop the spread of the virus.

Also read | Business Live: Sensex falls over 2,800 points, Nifty breaks below key support as stocks enter bear territory

Countries across the world are imposing travel restrictions, fuelling fears of a global economic recession, analysts said.

In line with the bearish trend in global markets, Indian stocks opened at significant lower levels as investors remained anxious about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Services) – AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

A selloff across sectors along with panic selling in the broader markets hurt investor sentiment, he said.

Besides a selloff in global equities, massive plunge in international oil prices and depreciating rupee added to the volatility, traders said.

The rupee depreciated 49 paise to 74.17 per US dollar (intra-day).

Brent crude oil futures dropped 5.50% to $33.82 per barrel.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai dropped 1.52%, Hong Kong 3.66%, Seoul 3.87% and Tokyo cracked 4.41%.

Markets in Europe crashed up to 6% in early trade.

In overnight trade, the Dow fell into a bear market and futures pointed on Thursday to another rout in New York and Europe.

“Globally, a fall of 20% from the recent peak is normally considered as a bear market. However, the definition does not hold good in India. Given its high beta, Indian markets have corrected by 25-30 per cent number of times and recovered quite quickly to resume the uptrend,” said Gaurav Dua, Senior VP, Head — Capital Market Strategy & Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

The number of coronavirus patients in India has risen to 73 with 13 fresh cases, including nine from Maharashtra and one each from Delhi, Ladakh, and Uttar Pradesh as well as one foreign national, the union Health Ministry has said.

COVID-19 has claimed over 4,200 lives and infected more than 117,330 people across 107 countries and territories.

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