Sensex plunges 581.28 points, Nifty settles at 8263.45; ITC, Bharti Airtel gain

Major gainers on the Nifty include ITC, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank and Infosys, while Bharti Infratel, Coal India, Zee Entertainment, and Yes Bank were top losers.

Sensex plunges 581.28 points, Nifty settles at 8263.45; ITC, Bharti Airtel gain
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New Delhi: Equity benchmark indices on Thursday ended lower after recovering from the intraday low point. The Sensex was down 581.28 points or 2.01% at 28288.23, while the broader Nifty also closed 205.35 points down or 2.42% at 8263.45. Major gainers on the Nifty include ITC, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank and Infosys, while Bharti Infratel, Coal India, Zee Entertainment, and Yes Bank were top losers.

Amid continuous sell-off, about 574 shares advanced, 1791 shares declined, and 153 shares remain unchanged, while all the sectoral indices ended in the red today.

During early hours today, equity benchmark indices floundered with eroding investor confidence due to worries about the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic. At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 1,571 points or 5.44 per cent to 27,299 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 456 points or 5.38 per cent to 8,013. 

All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty private bank down by 8.2 per cent, financial service by 8 per cent, realty by 7 per cent and auto by 6.5 per cent. 

Among stocks, Bharti Infratel dropped by 15.1 per cent to Rs 127.15 per share while IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank traded lower by 12.4 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively. Yes Bank was down by 13.65 per cent, a day after resuming complete services which were stopped as the Reserve Bank of India placed it under moratorium earlier this month. Bajaj Finance lost by 14.4 per cent and Bajaj Finserv by 10.4 per cent. 

Other prominent losers were ONGC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, HCL Technologies and Asian Paints. However, Power Grid Corporation and NTPC witnessed marginal gains. 

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 1,338 points to close at 19,899, its first close below 20,000 since February 2017. The S&P 500 fell by 5.2 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 4.7 per cent to close at 6,990.

As a result, Asian markets traded lower in Thursday`s session as fears over the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on equity markets.South Korea`s Kospi led the losses with a drop of 8 per cent. Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index fell by 4 per cent and Japan`s Nikkei erased early gains and to trade lower by 1 per cent.

Initially, Asian markets climbed on the news but soon tumbled as investors contemplate months of economic hardship with countries around the world in lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has now infected more than 200,000 people and killed almost 9,000.

The commodity tracked the sell-off on other markets and lost a large chunk of those gains. Oil markets have been hammered by collapsing demand as the virus prompts sweeping travel restrictions and business closures, and as major producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia engage in a price war.

(With Agency Inputs)