Indian markets on Thursday plunged nearly 2% in early trade, a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed details of the economic relief package of Rs 20 lakh crore to cushion the blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sensex opened 542 points lower at 31,466.33 while the Nifty50 opened at 9,213.95, dipping 170 points. As of 11.19 am, Sensex was trading at 31,410.08 – falling 598.53 points or 1.87%. The Nifty50 was trading lower by 167.95 points or 1.79% at 9,215.60.
The top gainers on the Sensex in the morning trade were Bajaj Finance, Nestle, Sun Pharmaceuticals, Hindustan Unilever, Kotak Mahindra and Hero Motocorp. On the Nifty 50, stocks of Bajaj Finance, Nestle, Britannia, Sun Pharmaceuticals and Bajaj Finserv have made gains so far.
The National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Infosys, Power Grid Corporation, IndusInd Bank and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation suffered losses on the Sensex. Shares of the NTPC, Hindalco, Infosys, IndusInd Bank and Power Grid Corporation recorded losses in early trade.
All Asian markets also marked losses during early trade with the Taiwan TSEC 50 Index falling 1.46% to reach 10,779.42 and the Nikkei 225 plunged 288.76 points and was at 19,978.31.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee was trading higher at 75.46 against the US dollar in early trade.
Sitharaman on Wednesday said the announcements related to the financial package were based on the existing foundation of reforms. She highlighted that 14 lakh taxpayers benefited from clearing of the income tax refund dues. The finance minister will brief the media again at 4 pm on Thursday.
However, Opposition leaders and several social media users wondered how the money that the government anyway owed to the citizens was labelled as relief measure to combat the pandemic.