Sensex tanks 883 points as rising COVID-19 cases spooks market; Nifty below 14,400

BSE Sensex ended 882.61 points or 1.81% lower at 47,949.42; NSE Nifty tanked 258.40 points or 1.77% to 14,359.45

Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted 883 points on April 19 following a massive across-the-board selloff as mounting COVID-19 cases spooked domestic investors.

After crashing over 1,469 points in early trade, the 30-share BSE index pared some initial losses but still ended 882.61 points or 1.81% lower at 47,949.42.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 258.40 points or 1.77% to 14,359.45.

PowerGrid was the top loser in the Sensex pack, slumping over 4%, followed by ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, L&T, Asian Paints and Bajaj Auto.

On the other hand, Dr. Reddy’s and Infosys were the only gainers.

“Domestic equities, which were looking resilient for last couple of days, fell sharply on sharp spike in COVID-19 cases across the country and enhanced economic restrictions imposed by several states. Announcements of wider mobility restriction by Rajasthan and Delhi governments dented investors’ sentiments,” said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Barring pharma and IT, which remained resilient, all key sectoral indices witnessed sharp correction. Financials and automobiles witnessed steeper correction. Notably, volatility index soared by over 11%, which does not augur well. Investors’ wealth got eroded by over ₹3 trillion today, he added.

India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on April 19.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 p.m. on April 19 till 5 a.m. on April 26 which he said was necessary as the city’s health system was stretched to its limits.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended on a positive note.

Stock exchanges in Europe were also largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.25% lower at $66.60 per barrel.

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