Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India were closely monitoring the stock markets as continuing panic over the novel coronavirus pandemic have put Indian equity markets in a precarious situation in the last few days, PTI reported.

Indian share markets continued their freefall on Friday morning too, crashing 10% just a few minutes into the session. This forced trading to halt for 45 minutes for the first time since 2009. But after trading resumed, both benchmark indices staged a sharp recovery and gained around 4% each by close. The BSE Sensex closed 1,325.34 points up at 34,103.48, and the National Stock Exchange Nifty 50 gained 365.05 points to finish at 9,955.20.

Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said the fall in Indian stock indices was far lower than the dramatic decline witnessed globally, adding that the situation in India will stabilise over the next few weeks, PTI reported.

“Government is watching and tracking the data very carefully,” Subramanian said. “Government and RBI will take all steps necessary.

The economist said the recent fall recorded on the market is a reflection of the global turmoil as countries like Russia, Brazil, the United States, the United Kingdom, among others witnessed a 20% fall in stock prices between January 21 and March 12. “Stock markets often react with greed and fear. Currently, there is fear because of coronavirus,” he said.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India, too, said that the regulator along with the stock exchanges was prepared to “take any action” to deal with market volatility. “Over the last few days, the Indian stock market has been moving in tandem with other global markets due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic,” SEBI said in a statement. “This has also resulted in fear of an economic slowdown and recent fall in global crude prices.”