Benchmark equity market indices Sensex and Nifty plunged on Monday as coronavirus cases rose in the country by over 1 lakh in a day for the first time. Financial capital Mumbai entered another phase of restrictions on Monday as the Maharashtra government’s new guidelines came into effect.
As a result, the Sensex nosedived 870.51 points to settle at 49,159.32, while the Nifty 50 index slumped 229.55 points to end at 14,637.80. During the intra-day trade, the Sensex had crashed 1,449.03 points to 48,580.80, while the Nifty had fallen 407.85 points to hit a low of 14,459.50. Both the indices had opened over 0.5% lower.
All sectoral sub-indices, with the exception of Nifty IT, faced losses, with Nifty Bank (-3.48%) and Nifty Financial Services (-3.25%) bleeding the most.
Analysts suggested that the rise in cases and fresh set of restrictions in several parts of the country threatened to stall the economy that was showing some green shoots.
“The market had run up on the back of the opening up of the economy, and the resultant increase in demand...That entire story is again at risk,” Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities, told Reuters. “The concern, from a market perspective, is that the virus is spreading so fast and people will not be able to work, and business and profitability will be impacted.”
Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, plunging around 6%, followed by IndusInd Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto and ICICI Bank. Meanwhile, HCL Tech, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys were among the gainers.
Meanwhile, the rupee declined by 18 paise to close at 73.30 against the US dollar due to risk aversion in the domestic market amid coronavirus concerns.