Sensex drops 143 points on coronavirus jitters
Extending its losses for the fifth consecutive session, equity benchmark Sensex declined 143 points on Thursday tracking a global selloff amid rising fears of the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic and hitting the world economy. The expiry of domestic derivatives contracts too kept market volatile, traders said.
After plunging over 465.69 points during the day, the 30-share BSE barometer finally settled 143.30 points, or 0.36 per cent, lower at 39,745.66.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 45.20 points or 0.39 per cent to end at 11,633.30.
ONGC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, followed by HCL Tech, SBI, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Hero MotoCorp and M&M.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Titan, Asian Paints and Axis Bank led the gainers' chart.
Market opened in negative tracking its Asian peers as the rapid global spread of the coronavirus kept investors on the edge and made them seek safety in gold and bonds, said Narendra Solanki, Head Fundamental Research (Investment Services) - AVP Equity Research, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
India is at risk of getting severely impacted by the epidemic economically because of its high reliance on Chinese imports for various goods, he noted.
Benchmarks also remained volatile on account of monthly expiry of derivatives contracts, he said, adding that sentiment remained sluggish amid reports that GDP growth is likely to stay flat at 4.5 per cent in October-December 2019.
The government's GDP estimate for the December quarter is scheduled to be released on Friday.
Further, relentless 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 6,812.57 crore on a net basis.
Bourses in Seoul and Tokyo ended with significant losses, while Shanghai and Hong Kong closed with gains.
Stock exchanges in Europe plunged up to 1.80 per cent in their morning sessions.
Brent crude oil futures fell 1.33 per cent to USD 52.11 per barrel.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated marginally to 71.62 per US dollar (intra-day).
Also Read: Sensex drops over 200 points in opening trade; Nifty near 11,600
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