Closing Bell: Sensex falls 1368 points, Nifty also sheds by over 350 points (Photo Credit: File Photo - PTI Image)
Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted over 1,375 points on Monday, tracking heavy losses in banking and auto stocks, amid an unsettling spike in Covid-19 cases. After plunging over 1,500 points during the day, the 30-share BSE barometer ended 1,375.27 points or 4.61 per cent lower at 28,440.32. Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell 379.15 points, or 4.38 per cent, to close at 8,281.10.
Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking nearly 12 per cent, followed by HDFC twins, Tata Steel, ICICI bank, Kotak Bank and Maruti. On the other hand, Nestle India, Tech Mahindra, HUL and Axis Bank were the top gainers.
"Indian markets started the week on a negative note tracking volatile global cues in Asian markets as coronavirus-fuelled volatility gripped global equities and other financial markets, with oil prices seen plunging," said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi. The selloff intensified in the second half of the session after multiple ratings agencies cut India's growth outlook, despite the RBI's massive actions to spur the economy, he added.
Fitch Solutions slashed its estimate for India's GDP growth in the fiscal starting April 1 to 4.6 per cent due to weaker private consumption and contraction in investment amid the coronavirus outbreak, costing economies around the globe. India Ratings and Research too revised its FY21 GDP growth forecast down to 3.6 per cent from 5.5 per cent.
On the global front, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday said the world has entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended in the red. Benchmarks in Europe were also trading on a negative note. International oil benchmark Brent crude fell 4.47 per cent to USD 26.70 per barrel in futures trade.
On the currency front, the rupee depreciated 65 paise to 75.54 against the US dollar in intra-day trade. The number of Covid-19 cases climbed to 1,071 in India on Monday, while the death toll rose to 29, according to the union health ministry. Deaths around the world linked to the pandemic crossed 30,000 over the weekend.