Stocks give up gains to fresh coronavirus concerns, benchmark indices slide for 7th day
Mumbai, March 2 (PTI): Market benchmark index Sensex wiped out its sharp gains in the last hour of trade to close down by 153 points on Monday as detection of fresh coronavirus cases in India spooked domestic investors.
Marking its seventh consecutive session of fall, the 30-share BSE barometer closed 153.27 points or 0.40 per cent lower at 38,144.02 as financial, steel and FMCG stocks tanked on growth concerns.
The broader Nifty of the NSE also shed more than 400 points from its day’s high and closed lower by 69 points or 0.62 per cent at 11,132.75.
Stocks had rallied in morning session due to value buying by investors following sharp losses in the previous sessions. Sensex rallied 786 points to touch the day’s high of 39,083.17. Nifty scaled 11,433 in day trade.
However, the Union Health Ministry reporting two more positive cases of new coronavirus spooked domestic investors with Sensex crashing almost 1,300 points from the day’s high to touch 37,785.99. Nifty also plunged to a low of 11,036.25.
“Detection of new cases of coronavirus in India has nipped the nascent pullback in the Indian equity market. Despite the stability in the equity markets globally, the coronavirus scare led to fall of close to 400 points in Nifty from its intra-day high of 11,430 in matter for just an hour or so,” Gaurav Dua, Sr VP, Head – Capital Market Strategy & Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, commented.
Sector-wise, BSE metal, oil and gas, basic materials, utilities, energy and telecom indices fell up to 2.05 per cent, while IT and teck indices ended in the green.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 0.77 per cent.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included SBI, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, ONGC and IndusInd bank.
On the other hand, HCL Tech, Nestle India, ICICI Bank and Infosys were among the gainers.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with significant gains as investors began value-buying in recently-hammered equities.
Stock exchanges in Europe too turned positive in their morning sessions.
“The hope that central banks across the globe may come up with stimulus measures to revive global growth held markets higher. However, domestic manufacturing growth for February indicated weakness due to supply concerns indicating that short term concerns could keep market volatile,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.
Brent crude oil futures fell 2.25 per cent to USD 50.79 per barrel.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated 12 paise to 72.36 per US dollar (intra-day).
Having hit a near eight-year high in January, India’s manufacturing sector growth slowed down in February as business sentiment took a hit due to concerns over the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on exports and supply chains.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for India declined to 54.5 in February from 55.3 in January. The reading was at 52.7 in December.
Fitch Solutions on Monday cut its forecast for India’s economic growth to 4.9 per cent in the current fiscal that ends March 31 from 5.1%, saying manufacturing could come under pressure from weak domestic demand and supply chain disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The GDP growth is forecast to recover slightly to 5.4 per cent in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021) from 5.9 per cent earlier.