Mumbai: Indian indices on Wednesday (February 26) opened on a weak note with the Sensex down 365.09 points or 0.91% at 39916.11, while the broader Nifty down 104.50 points or 0.89% at 11693.40. Major gainers on the indices were Nestle, Asian Paints, Zee, and SBI, while Cipla, JSW Steel, Bharti Infratel, Wipro, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, RIL, and Yes Bank were among the top laggards.
Notably, Indian rupee today opened higher by 13 paise at 71.75 per dollar versus previous close of 71.88.
Meanwhile, Asian shares fell today as a US warning to Americans to prepare for the possibility of a coronavirus pandemic drove another Wall Street tumble and pushed yields on safe-haven Treasuries to record lows.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both shed more than 3% on Tuesday in their fourth straight session of losses.
That led MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.28%. Japan was among the worst-performing market in the region, weighed by growing concerns the virus could cancel the Tokyo Olympics.
Chinese shares fell 1.3%, while stocks in South Korea, which has been rattled by a sudden rise in virus infections, briefly hit a two-month low. While the stock rout has been global, the recent pace of selling in Asia has not been as severe as it has on Wall Street, which has been hit hard by the escalation of virus cases outside of Asia.
The S&P 500 lost $2.14 trillion in market capitalization over the last four sessions, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices analyst Howard Silverblatt.US stock futures rose 0.2% in Asia on Wednesday, but that did little to brighten the mood.
The virus, which has claimed almost 3,000 lives in mainland China, has also hit Japan`s stocks hard on rising worries it could lead to cancellation of the 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled to start in Tokyo in July.
Japan`s Nikkei stock index slid 1.1%, while shares of Japan`s Dentsu Group Inc, an advertising agency deeply involved in the planning and operation of the games, fell to a seven-year low on Wednesday.
Shares of sportswear makers and other companies related to the Olympics have also fallen recently.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes traded at 1.3421% on Wednesday in Asia, close to a record low of 1.3070% The 30-year yield stood at 1.8142%, above a record low of 1.7860%.
The decline in yields weighed on the dollar. The greenback was last quoted at 110.25 yen, continuing a pullback from a 10-month high of 112.23 yen.
The dollar traded at $1.0872 per euro, off an almost three-year high of $1.0778 reached on February 20. Spot gold rose 0.53% to $1,643.75 per ounce as investors sought safe havens.
Oil prices recovered some recent losses in Asia, but there are lingering concerns that expected output cuts by major oil producers will not be enough to offset a decline in global energy demand caused by the virus.
(With Agency Inputs)