Market Wrap: Sensex dips 581 points, Nifty settles at 8,270 points (Photo Credit: file photo)
After turning positive in afternoon, equity benchmark Sensex ended 581 points lower in a highly volatile session on Thursday amid heightened fears of a global recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The rupee plummeted 81 paise to 75.07 against the US dollar during the day. Similarly, the NSE Nifty settled 205.35 points, or 2.42 per cent, down at 8,263.45, after dropping below the 7,900 level intra-day.
The top loses in the Sensex pack include Bajaj Finance crashing over 10 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Maruti, M&M, Tech Mahindra and ONGC. The gainers included ITC, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Bank and Hero MotoCorp. Indian benchmark indices opened in negative following subdued trades in Asian peers and US markets, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
"Global markets continued to trade with negative bias and high volatility amid fears over the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic which continues to weigh on investor sentiments. During the afternoon session the markets showed marginal pullback but largely remained short-lived," he added. Bourses in Europe, however, turned positive after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a surprise EUR 750-billion stimulus package.
Faced with growing economic shutdowns, 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. Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures rebounded 5.55 per cent to USD 26.26 per barrel.
The number of global coronavirus infections has shot past 2,00,000. Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000. The total active Covid-19 cases in India stood at 148 on Thursday after 18 fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry.
Gold on Thursday gained Rs 31 to Rs 40,718 per 10 gram in the national capital amid sharp rupee depreciation, according to HDFC Securities. On Wednesday, it had closed at Rs 40,687 per 10 gram. Silver, however, declined by Rs 190 to Rs 35,444 per kg against the previous close of Rs 35,634 per kg.
"Spot gold for 24 Karat in Delhi were trading up by Rs 31 thanks to sharp rupee depreciation and steady international gold prices," HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said. In the international market, both gold and silver were trading flat at USD 1,482 per ounce and USD 11.97 per ounce, respectively.
Meanwhile, the domestic equity market continued to trade weak, with its BSE benchmark index trading over 500 points lower minutes before the final closing.
(With inputs from PTI)