Opening Bell: Sensex Opens 1,600 Points Lower, Nifty Tests 9,500 (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Equity benchmark Sensex plummeted over 1,600 points and the broader Nifty gave up the 524 level in opening session on Monday as worsening rout in world markets continue over coronavirus fear. The rupee too plunged 42 paise to 74.17 against US dollar in morning session. The number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 110, with 12 fresh cases reported in Maharashtra on Sunday. Coronavirus has infected more than 150,000 people globally and killed over 5,500.
The broader Nifty50 index hovered around 9,500 levels. All the Nifty sectoral indices were trading in the red with Nifty Bank, Nifty Private Bank, and Nifty PSU Bank indexes taking the deepest cuts.
In early trade, YES Bank was the only stock in the green, while, JSW Steel, Vedanta, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, and ICICI Bank led the losses.
In the early session on Friday, the BSE sensex plummeted 3,000 points hitting its 10 percent lower circuit limit at 29,687.52. Nifty also hit its lower circuit at 8,624.05, down by 10 percent or 966.10 points. The trading was halted for 45 minutes following the market bloodbath. On the global front, the Asian markets also nosedived as panic around coronavirus further dented the investor sentiment. Wall Street also tanked on Thursday after US president announced a travel ban for all European countries except Britain in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
US President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Friday it is awarding USD 1.3 million to two companies trying to develop rapid COVID-19 tests that could detect whether a person is positive for the new coronavirus within an hour.
The Department of Health and Human Services said it is awarding USD 679,000 to DiaSorin Molecular, of Cypress, California, and USD 598,000 to QIAGEN, of Germantown, Maryland, to accelerate development of their tests.
DiaSorin’s test could be ready within six weeks for consideration by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the QIAGEN test could be ready within 12 weeks for FDA consideration, according to HHS.