Indian markets declined around 3 per cent on Thursday, tracking weakness in global markets after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of extended economic weakness due to the coronavirus pandemic in the world's biggest economy.
The sentiment remained weak despite a slew of announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday targeting various sectors. The FM doled out measures worth Rs 5.94 trillion, focusing largely on MSMEs, NBFCs, power discoms, and real estate sector, with more such announcements to follow throughout the week.
At the close, the S&P BSE Sensex stood at 31,123, down 886 points or 2.8 per cent while Nifty ended at 9,143, down 241 points or 2.57 per cent. Volatility index, India VIX, ended over 1.50 per cent lower at 38.2350 levels.
Shares of electric utilities and power finance companies rallied up to 10 per cent on the BSE after the Finance Minister announced a special liquidity infusion scheme for the ailing power distribution sector, through which it is looking to infuse around Rs 90,000 crore in the distribution companies.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) gained over 6 per cent on the BSE in an otherwise weak market on Thursday after its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended March 2020 declined 75.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 229.90 crore. The company had logged a profit of Rs 935.24 crore in the year-ago period. The result was in line with the analysts estimate. The stock ended at Rs 563.50, down around 5.4 per cent.
The head of the Federal Reserve quashed talk of U.S. interest rates going negative to kickstart investment and new outbreaks of the virus in South Korea and China and some dour assessments of the global economy aroused concern too.
Asian markets had followed Wall Street lower overnight with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares finishing down 1.3% and Japan's heavyweight Nikkei closing 1.75% lower.