Equity market witnessed one of the steepest falls in the recent years on Friday, as the fears of coronavirus turning into a pandemic triggered all-round sell-off at the bourses. Hopes that the epidemic that started in China would be over in a few months and economic activity would return to normal have been shattered, as new infections reported around the world now surpass those in China.
As a result, the S&P BSE Sensex nosedived 1,448 points or 3.64 per cent to end the session at 38,297. All 30 constituents ended in the red. Tech Mahindra (down around 9 per cent) took the biggest knock on the index. Other major contributors to the index's decline were were Reliance Industries (RIL), Infosys, HDFC, ICICI Bank, and TCS. On the NSE, the 50-share index Nifty plunged 432 points or 3.7 per cent to end at 11,202. Volatility index India VIX zoomed 29 per cent to 22.87 levels.
All sectoral indices on the NSE ended deep in the red. Nifty IT index dropped over 5 per cent to 15,274 levels while Nifty Metal index cracked over 7 per cent to 2,233 levels. In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index dropped over 3 per cent to 14,600 levels while S&P BSE SmallCap ended at 13,709, down 500 points or 3.52 per cent.
According to analysts, markets are increasingly getting worried about the rapid outbreak of coronavirus across geographies and the consequent economic fallout.
Further, incessant selling by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) spooked retail investors, traders said. According to provisional data available with stock exchanges, so far this week, FPIs have offloaded stocks worth Rs 9,389 crore on a net basis.
World share markets were headed for their worst week since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis as investors ditched risky assets on fears the coronavirus would become a pandemic and trigger a global recession. Stock futures showed European indexes set to track the rout in their Asian counterparts on Friday, which comes after another massive selloff on Wall Street overnight.
MSCI's regional index excluding Japan shed 2.7 per cent. Japan's Nikkei slumped 4.3 per cent on rising fears the Olympics planned in July-August may be called off due to the coronavirus.
In commodities, US crude futures fell 3.2 per cent to $45.59 per barrel, having lost 14.5% so far on the week, which would be the deepest fall in nearly nine years.
Read by: Sukanya Roy