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Indices see biggest 1-day fall ever in absolute terms, Sensex dips 1942 pts

All that happened in markets today


SI Reporter  | New Delhi 


Crash in crude oil price and Coronavirus (Covid-19) fears triggered another round of across-the-board selling in the equity market on Monday. Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty slid over 6 per cent during the intra-day session before trimming some of their losses later. The indices witnessed their biggest one-day fall ever in absolute terms. Volatility index, India VIX, surged over 21 per cent to 31.05 levels.

The S&P BSE Sensex shed 1,942 points or over 5 per cent to settle at 35,635. Reliance Industries (RIL) tumbled around 14 per cent to hit its 52-week low of Rs 1,094.95 on the BSE. It was the biggest contributor to the index's fall. Other index stocks that witnessed heavy selling were ICICI Bank, HDFC, TCS, Infosys, and HDFC Bank. 

On the NSE, the Nifty50 index slipped below 10,500-mark to end at 10,451, down 538 points or 5 per cent. All the sectoral indices on the NSE ended in the red with metals taking the hardest knock. Nifty Metal index slipped around 8 per cent to 2,015 levels while Nifty Media ended at 1,425, down over 6.5 per cent. Nifty Bank ended at 26,470, down 1,331 points or 4.8 per cent. 

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index ended at 13,554, down 673 points or 4.73 per cent and the S&P BSE SmallCap index lost over 4 per cent to 12,771-mark. 

Oil prices crash

Losing more than a quarter of their value, oil prices were set on Monday for their biggest daily rout since the first Gulf War, after Saudi Arabia cut its official prices in a market already reeling from the impact of the coronavirus on global demand. Brent crude futures were down $11.38, or 25 per cent, at $33.89 a barrel by 0732 GMT, after earlier dropping to $31.02, their lowest since Feb. 12, 2016. Brent futures were on track for their biggest daily decline since Jan. 17, 1991, when prices dropped at the start of the first Gulf War.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by $11.12, or 27 per cent, to $30.16 a barrel, after touching $27.34, also the lowest since Feb. 12, 2016. The U.S. benchmark was potentially heading for its biggest decline on record, surpassing a 33 per cent fall in January 1991.

Global markets

Global stocks plunged on Monday and prices for crude oil tumbled as much as 33 per cent after Saudi Arabia launched a price war with Russia, sending investors already panicked by the coronavirus fleeing for the safety of bonds and the yen. European suffered hefty losses in early trade with London dropping more than 8 per cent, Frankfurt falling more than 7 per cent and Paris almost matching those losses.

In Asia, stocks and emerging market currencies with exposure to oil tumbled in volatile trade while the safe-haven yen surged. Heavy selling was set to continue on Wall Street with US futures hitting their down limit. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 4.4 per cent in its worst day since August 2015, while Shanghai blue chips fell 2.9 per cent.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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