It was indeed Friday the 13th as Dalal Street witnessed a bloodbath in early trade. Indian markets hit lower circuit in the first 15 minutes when the trading was halted for around 45 minutes. Massive selling was seen in benchmark indices, pushing both the Sensex and the Nifty below their crucial support levels.
The Nifty50 breached 8,800 levels for the first time since February 2017 to hit a three-year low. The S&P BSE Sensex plunged more than 3,000 points, its worst drop in three years.
At 1156 hours, the Sensex was down 63.33 points, or 0.19 percent, at 32714.81, and the Nifty was trading 25.10 points or 0.26 percent, lower at 9565.05.
The market was reacting to global factors, while February CPI inflation print was much lower than estimated, the government’s Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Venkata Subramanian said.
The lower February inflation was on the back of a fall in vegetable prices and should come down to core levels by July. The fall in the Indian markets was lower than the global average, he added.
Led by Sun Pharma that is considering a buyback of shares, the pharma index jumped more than 2 percent. The board of the pharma major is to meet on March 17 to consider a proposal for buyback of fully paid-up shares, a release said.
Other gainers included Aurobindo Pharma, Biocon, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Labs.
Telecom stocks, including Vodafone Idea, surged more than 20 percent after the media reports said that the cabinet had approved a relief package the sector battling adjusted gross revenue (AGR) payments.
The YES Bank share added 2 percent amid reports that the cabinet had cleared a draft resolution scheme for the private sector lender.
The volatility index surged over 37 percent at 56.51 level.
The top gainers included State Bank of India, Sun Pharma, HDFC, Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel, each adding between 2-8 percent. On the other hand, Nestle India, Asian Paints, ONGC, Tech Mahindra and Titan Company were among the top losers.
UBS sharply cut its 2020-21 GDP growth forecast for India to 5.1 percent on coronavirus fears and weak credit growth. The brokerage also cut its FY20 growth estimate marginally to 4.8 percent.
As many as 330 stocks hit the lower circuit of BSE. These include Future Retail, Vakrangee, Indiabulls Real Estate, Adani Green and Shilpa Medicare.
Over 1,244 stocks hit 52-week low on BSE. Among them were Jubilant Life, UPL, SpiceJet, Interglobe Aviation, Godrej Consumer, Mahindra CIE Automotive, Adani Ports, Cummins India, PVR, Tech Mahindra, Titan Company, Wipro, Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, RBL Bank and Hero MotoCorp.
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