Market turns lower as coronavirus lockdown set to continue
Mumbai, April 13 (PTI): Market benchmarks Sensex and Nifty suffered heavy losses in a volatile session on Monday as investors anxiously waited for an almost certain extension to the natiowide lockdown amid mounting Covid-19 cases.
The BSE gauge Sensex closed 469.60 points or 1.51 per cent lower at 30,0690.02, while the NSE benchmark Nifty ended 118.05 points or 1.30 per cent down at 8,993.85.
With the 21-day lockdown period ending, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday in which he is expected to announce a further extension in the spell.
Indian market will remain closed on Tuesday for Ambedkar Jayanti.
Coming back to Monday’s trade, Indian bourses also felt pressure of subdued global equities reeling under the coronavirus crisis.
In the Sensex chart, Bajaj Finance was the top laggard, plummetting over 10 per cent, followed by M&M, Titan, Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank and Tech Mahindra.
On the other hand, L&T, Bharti Airtel, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cements and NTPC were among the gainers.
Sensex heavyweights HDFC twins fell as much as 3.12 per cent, while Reliance Industries shed 2.46 per cent. ICICI Bank dropped 3.44 per cent.
Sectorally, BSE realty, consumer durables, finance, auto, bankex, energy and FMCG indices fell up to 4.92 per cent.
In contrast, telecom, capital goods, industrials and metal indices rallied up to 4.82 per cent.
In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap fell up to 0.93 per cent.
“In Spite of the hope that infections are peaking out in Europe, Indian markets closed negative with virus infections seen to be increasing in some regions of India. The Indian markets are awaiting the decision of the government regarding the current lockdown. Government is expected to announce a plan for a staggered withdrawal from the lockdown,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Any continuation of the lockdown in its current form will put further pressure on economic growth and corporate earnings and will have a negative impact on the markets, he added.
Meanwhile, partcipants will be interested in consumer inflation data due later in the day.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul ended significantly lower.
Stock exchanges in Europe remained closed for ‘Easter Monday’.
Meanwhile, the rupee settled for the day on a flat note at 76.27 against the US dollar.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 2.06 per cent to USD 30.83 per barrel.
The commodity had rallied earlier in the day after Opec producers dominated by Saudi Arabia and allies led by Russia thrashed out a compromise deal on Sunday to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day from May.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 308 on Monday after 35 new fatalities were reported, while the number of cases climbed to 9,152, according to the Union Health Ministry. Global tally of the infections has crossed 18 lakh, with over 1 lakh deaths.