Ghosts of March 2020 March crash were back on Dalal Street on Monday as fears that the government could go for stricter lockdowns to curb the second wave of Covid-19, hampering the economic recovery, spooked market participants.
Bears launched an all-out attack on the stock markets today as record daily cases of Covid-19 infections weakened bull reign. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex and the Nifty50 indices cracked nearly 1,900 points and 590 points to hit intra-day lows of 47,693 and 14,249 levels, respectively. The concerns were felt in the currency market too as FPI outflows dragged the rupee to the lowest level in nine months. The rupee hit a low of 75.14 in the intra-day trade but ended at 75.05 per US dollar compared with Friday's close of 74.74.
At close, the headline indices were 3.5 per cent lower each at 47,883 levels and 14,311 level, down 1,708 points and 524 points, respectively. Consequently, investor wealth plummeted by Rs 8.69 trillion to Rs 200.9 trillion.
Only one constituent on the Sensex (Dr Reddy's Labs) and four on the Nifty (Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, Divis Labs, and Britannia) ended the day in the green. Among these, Dr Reddy's Labs ended 7% higher on the National Stock Exchange on report that the expert panel reviewing the company's application for approval to the Russian vaccine has recommended that approval be given to the vaccine. Now, the Drugs Controller General of India will consider this recommendation and decide whether to grant Sputnik V approval for restricted emergency use in India.
Among the losers on the Nifty were Tata Motors, Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, UPL, SBI, Hindalco, and Shree Cement, down in the range of 5.6 per cent to 10 per cent.
Shares of financial sector, including banks, NBFCs, and housing finance companies, along with automobiles and real estate companies were under pressure at the bourses, on Monday, falling up to 10 per cent, on the NSE on concerns of demand slowdown due to rising Covid-19 cases.
Among financials, RBL Bank, Bank of Baroda, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, L&T Finance Holdings, Indian Overseas Bank, Shrirram Transport Finance, Punjab National Bank and IndusInd Bank slipped up to 9 per cent while DLF, Sobha, Godrej Properties and Indiabulls Real Estate from realty and Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Motherson Sumi Systems, and Bharat Forge from the automobiles fell between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.
By the time the markets closed, the Nifty PSU Bank index plummeted 9 per cent, the Nifty Realty slipped 7 per cent, and the Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Metal, and Auto indices skidded between 5 per cent and 6 per cent.
Broader markets, on the other hand, faced an even severe blow with the S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices dropping 5 per cent each.
Stocks sank on Monday as investors waited to see whether US earnings would justify sky-high valuations, while a rally in bonds could be tested by what should be strong readings for US inflation and retail sales this week.
MSCI’s All Country World Index was down 0.25 per cent and the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 per cent.
The UK's FTSE mid 250 index slipped 0.6 per cent, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 per cent and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 per cent. Italy’s FTSE MIB was the sole gainer, up 0.05 per cent.
Earlier in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei edged down 0.6 per cent. South Korean stocks were near flat.
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