Global pandemic pulls Indian stocks in bear territory

BSE Sensex, Nifty, Indian shares

Dubai - Both S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 index dropped below 8%.


Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Thu 12 Mar 2020, 7:45 AM

Last updated: Thu 12 Mar 2020, 5:12 PM

The Indian stocks nosedived 3,100 points and Nifty slipped below 9,600 for the first time since July 2017 and extended the bear territory as World Health Organisation declared coronavirus as a global pandemic.
The S&P BSE Sensex dropped by 8.7 per cent or 3,110.77 points to trade at 32,586.63 points and NSE Nifty 50 index dropped by 8.84 per cent or 924.55 points to 9,533.85.
Nishant Srivastava, director, Viksa Market Insights, said: "WHO declaration of Covid-19 as global pandemic along with US government's decision to suspend travel with mainland Europe and Indian government's self declared travel quarantine with rest of the world for a month weighed on the already bearish market. With no consensus on the catastrophic impact on global as well as Indian economy, foreign investors' flight of capital was evident on the downfall of bluechip stocks and rupee."
The Indian rupee on Thursday weakened to a 17-month low of 74.34 per US dollar as global markets slumped and somewhat recovered from the lows to trade around 74.14 per greenback. The rupee hit its record low in October, 2018, when it was 74.48.
"With the CoronaVirus reaching Mumbai and the SPX futures down, the fall in Indian markets too is getting exacerbated. The markets are now reaching a state of panic with low visibility on how or when the fall will be contained.Investors could focus on the stocks and sectors which they have high conviction on recovering well and buy in a staggered manner," said Srikanth Iyengar, managing partner, Five Capital.
All stocks on the blue-chip indexes in Mumbai were trading in the red, dragged down mostly by large-cap energy and financial shares.Top private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd caused the biggest damage to the indexes, sliding 9.5 per cent to its lowest since November 2018.
Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd fell as much as 9.1per cent to a more than 16-month low. Fund managers and market analysts said the bulk of selling came from foreign institutional investors.
"Markets have turned extremely volatile due to the developing trend in the oil market in addition to the slowdown arising on account of Coronavirus. Trade movements are getting impacted as a result of this development and is ofcourse reflecting  in every part of the world," said A Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Limited.
Following Wall Street, Indian equities have entered into a bear market for the first time since the global financial crisis. Nifty 50 broke below 10,000 for the firsts time since March 2018, reflecting the panic in the market, India VIX surged to 6-year high and around 900 stocks hit 52-week low on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). 
Bal Krishen, Chairman, Century Financial, said: "All sectoral indices are trading in the red with metals, energy, automobiles and airline stocks the most impacted. The economic impact of Corona virus is likely to be more severe than anticipated and India could see a negative impact of 0.70 - 1.00 per cent. Global trade is likely to take a big hit after US President Trump suspended travel from Europe to the US and markets are likely to remain in a state of turmoil." 
-  With inputs from Reuters

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