Sensex plummets over 2,100 pts; Nifty drops below 7,900

Mumbai, Mar 19 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted over 2,100 points and the Nifty gave up the 7,900 level in opening session on Thursday as global gloom over the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hammer equities.

The rupee too depreciated 60 paise to 74.87 against US dollar in morning session.

After sinking over 2,152 points, the BSE barometer was trading 1812.19 points or 6.28 per cent lower at 27,057.32 at 0930 hours.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty was trading 520.85 points, or 6.15 per cent, down at 7,947.95 after dropping below 7,900 in early session.

In the previous session, the 30-share BSE index closed 1,709.58 points or 5.59 per cent lower at 28,869.51. On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty plummeted 498.25 points, or 5.56 per cent, to end at 8,468.80.

Bajaj Finance was the top loser, tanking up to 12 per cent, followed by HCL Tech, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and M&M, while PowerGrid and NTPC were the only gainers.

According to traders, European Central Bank’s (ECB) EUR 750-billion stimulus package failed to lift investor sentiment, stoking the already-peaking fears of an economic recession.

Faced with a growing economic shutdown amid the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the ECB on Wednesday announced a surprise EUR 750-billion scheme to purchase government and corporate bonds, as it joined other central banks in stepping up efforts to contain the economic damage from the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo plunged up to 8 per cent.

Incessant foreign fund outflow also kept domestic market participants risk-averse, traders said.

On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 5,085.35 crore on Wednesday, data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures rose over 1.61 per cent to USD 25.28 per barrel.

The number of global Covid-19 infections has shot past 2,00,000. Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000.

Cases in India rose to 169 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.

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