NEW DELHI: Equity indices crashed on Friday with the benchmark BSE sensex plunging over 1,100 points amid rising concerns on global spread of coronavirus. Sensex dived 1,140 points or 2.87 per cent to 38,605; while the broader NSE Nifty cracked 348 points or 2.99 per cent to 11,285.
Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession. There were concerns about how India would cope with a widespread outbreak.
Top losers in the BSE pack include Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Infosys, Mahindra & Mahindra and ONGC with their stocks falling as much as 5.31 per cent. On NSE, all sub-indices were trading in red with Nifty Metal and Realty sliding as much as 4.07 per cent.
Stocks wiped nearly Rs 5 lakh crore of investor wealth with the total market capitalisation of BSE listed companies stood at Rs 1,52,40,024.08 crore at the end of trading on Thursday.
“The coronavirus now looks like a pandemic. Markets can cope even if there is big risk as long as we can see the end of the tunnel,” Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities told news agency Reuters.
Investor sentiment also remained sluggish amid reports that GDP (gross domestic product) growth is likely to stay flat at 4.5 per cent in October-December 2019.
The government’s GDP estimate for the December quarter is scheduled to be released later in the day.
Further, relentless selling by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) spooked retail investors, traders said.
According to provisional data available with stock exchanges, so far this week, FPIs have offloaded stocks worth a whopping Rs 6,812.57 crore on a net basis.