There seems to be no end to the mayhem the coronavirus has brought to Indian markets, with the benchmark BSE Sensex posting its biggest single-day decline on March 12, hours after the WHO declared the viral outbreak a pandemic.
The 30-share Sensex crashed 3,304.3 points intraday with all stocks in the red.
India, which has confirmed 73 cases, has put in place travel restrictions by suspending almost all visas for a month. The US, too, issued a month-long ban on travel from Europe except the UK, spooking markets across the globe.
Let’s look at the final tally on D-Street: the S&P BSE Sensex closed 2,919 points down at 32,778.14, while the Nifty ended the day at 9,590.15, dropping 868.25 points.
The broader markets also corrected sharply. The BSE Midcap index fell over 9 percent and the Smallcap index was down 9.3 percent.
All sectors closed in the red, with PSU banks being the biggest loser (down 12.52 percent). Other major losers were media (down 10.41 percent) and realty (8.95 percent) sectors.
The fall is being attributed to the coronavirus being named a pandemic, which acknowledges the rapid spread of the outbreak outside China, where first infections were reported late in December 2019.
The spike in cases outside China has fuelled concerns for the global economy, with several experts suggesting that the emerging situation was worse than expected.
“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and the severity and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing.
Brent crude was trading at around $33.67, having flipped in and out of positive territory before the US announcement.
FIIs sold shares worth Rs 3,515.38 crore, provisional data available on the NSE showed. On a month-to-date basis, FIIs have pulled out more than Rs 20,000 crore from Indian markets.