Sensex tumbles over 500 pts in early trade; Nifty slips below 9,200

Mumbai, Apr 24 (PTI) Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 500 points in early trade on Friday dragged by losses in banking and IT stocks amid weak cues from global markets.

After hitting a low of 31,278.27, the 30-share index was trading 534.23 points or 1.68 per cent down at 31,328.85.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty declined 129.35 points, or 1.39 per cent, to 9,184.55.

Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding up to 5 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC twins, SBI, Infosys and TCS.

On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, L&T, ONGC and HCL Tech were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer surged 483.53 points or 1.54 per cent to close at 31,863.08, and the broader Nifty advanced 126.60 points, or 1.38 per cent, to settle at 9,313.90.

Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers in the capital market on Thursday, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 114.58 crore, according to provisional exchange data.

Domestic market opened on a negative note as global stocks slumped amid projections of severe coronavirus-led blow to the global economy, traders said.

Fitch Ratings has slashed India’s economic growth projection to 0.8 per cent in the current 2020-21 fiscal, saying an unparalleled global recession was underway due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The agency has further made large cuts to global GDP forecasts. Global economic growth is now expected to fall by 3.9 per cent in 2020, a recession of unprecedented depth in the post-war period.

This would be twice as severe as the 2009 recession, it noted.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with losses in early deals.

On Wall Street, key indices closed in the red in overnight session.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures advanced 5.91 per cent to USD 22.59 per barrel.

Further, reports on Thursday said a potential antiviral drug flopped in a clinical trial, citing documents published accidentally by the World Health Organisation.

In India, the death toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 718, while the number of cases in the country climbed to 23,077.

Global tally of the infections has crossed 27 lakh, with over 1.90 lakh deaths.

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