Indian markets were down more than 1.5% at closing on Monday as the equity markets witnessed a massive sell-off earlier in the day. The sell-off was also attributed to the surge in Covid-19 cases, with India recording 2,73,810 new infections in one day, pushing the overall tally to 1,50,61,919.

The Sensex ended the day at 47,949.42, as many as 882.61 points or 1.81% lower than the previous day’s closing while the Nifty 50 closed at 14,359.45, which is 258.4 points or 1.77% lower.

Earlier on Monday, the benchmark indices lost close to 2.5% each by mid-day as governments announced fresh restrictions to tackle the spread of Covid-19. In morning trade, the Sensex fell by up to 1,470 points to hit the intra-day low of 47,362.71. All sectoral indices, with the exception of the Nifty Pharma, were facing losses. The Nifty Bank (-4.29%) and the Nifty Financial Services (-3.64%) slipped the most.

“The surge in [Covid-19] infections looks uncontrollable right now,” Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, told Reuters. “The numbers will stabilise but investors are worried about how long it will take and how much stress the medical system will be able to bear.”

Monday was the third consecutive day when the Sensex plunged more than 1,000 points in intra-day trade. Two weeks back, when the country witnessed the single-day rise in coronavirus cases going past the 1 lakh-mark for the first time, the markets had closed with a loss of nearly 900 points. Last Monday, the index shed over 1,700 points at close. The trend has seen investors indulging in selling on the first day as markets open after the weekend and then holding on to the closing levels of Monday.

The rupee too depreciated by 52 paise to close at 74.87 against the US dollar.

Dr Reddys Laboratories Limited and Infosys Limited were the only gainers on the Sensex. Among the stock that made profits on the Nifty 50 were Dr Reddys Laboratories Limited, Britannia Industries Limited, Cipla, Wipro and Infosys.

The top five stocks that incurred losses on the Sensex were Power Grid Corporation, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro Limited. Adani Ports, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Finserv suffered losses on the Nifty 50.

Meanwhile, India on Monday recorded over 2 lakh infections for the fifth consecutive day. With 1,619 deaths, the toll rose to 1,78,769.

Delhi will be under a six-day lockdown from 10 pm on Monday to 5 am on April 26 to prevent the health care system from collapsing as the national Capital continues to record massive jump in coronavirus cases.

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