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Stocks may open weak on nationwide lockdown

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The market may open lower today. Sentiment maybe hit after Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, 24 March 2020, called for a nationwide lockdown starting midnight. The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days, added Modi. Modi said the 21-day lockdown was necessary to break the chain of the COVID-19 virus, adding that "social distancing is the only option to combat the virus outbreak".

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could fall 191 points at the opening bell.

Overseas, Asian markets extended their gains on Wednesday as the US Congress appeared to be close to a deal on a roughly US$2 trillion stimulus package to battle the coronavirus, which set off a historic surge in US equities.

In US, stocks on soared Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its biggest one-day point gain ever and its best percentage gain since 1933, a day after plumbing the lowest levels since 2016, amid growing optimism that Congress will come to an agreement on a fiscal stimulus package aimed at combating the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

Back home, the domestic market ended the volatile session with robust gains on Tuesday, amid recovery in global stock markets. Global stock markets reacted positively to the US Federal Reserve's open-ended asset purchase program on Monday, as well as other measures to keep the market functioning. The S&P BSE Sensex jumped 692.79 points or 2.67% at 26,674.03. The Nifty 50 index climbed 190.80 points or 2.51% at 7,801.05.

The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 2153.35 crore yesterday, 24 March 2020, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1553.66 crore, yesterday, 24 March 2020, as per provisional data.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 07:56 IST