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Black Monday: Oil crash and virus spark market meltdown

Mumbai: In their biggest ever single-day drop in absolute terms, the BSE Sensex crashed over 1,941 points and the NSE Nifty tumbled 538 points as no let-up in coronavirus spread and massive crude oil plunge fuelled global recession fears.

Besides, both indices also marked their biggest intra-day fall of all-time.

Benchmarks Sensex and Nifty slumped intra-day 2,467 points and 695 points, respectively.

At the closing bell, the 30-share Sensex was down 1,941.67 points or 5.17 per cent at 35,634.95 -- the lowest level in about 13 months.

The broader Nifty settled at 10,451.45, dropping 538 points or 4.90 per cent.

The carnage in the equity market wiped out investor wealth worth Rs 6,84,277.65 crore, pulling the total m-cap of BSE-listed firms to Rs 1,37,46,946.76 crore on Monday.

On the Sensex chart, ONGC was the top loser, cracking over 16 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, TCS, SBI, ICICI Bank and Bajaj Auto.

Heavyweight Reliance Industries shed over 12 per cent.

Shares of SBI plunged over 6 per cent after it said it will pick up a 49 per cent stake in Yes Bank for Rs 2,450 crore.

Crisis-hit Yes Bank, on the other hand, rallied over 31 per cent. All sectoral indices ended in the red succumbing to growing fears about global recession among investors.

BSE energy plunged 9.74 per cent, followed by metal, IT, oil and gas, teck, bankex and finance indices.

In the broader market, midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 4.73 per cent.

Since February 1 -- the day when the FY 2020-21 Budget was presented, the Sensex has lost 5,088.54 points or 12.49 per cent, while the Nifty has shed 1,510.65 points or 12.62 per cent.

Last year's annual spike in the Sensex was around 14 per cent, and the Nifty had surged about 12 per cent.

"Domestic markets post biggest ever one-day fall in absolute terms. Selling intensified across domestic markets following a slide in global peers as fears intensified over the spread of coronavirus outbreak and oil prices plunge...," said Paras Bothra, President of Equity Research, Ashika Stock Broking.

In percentage terms, benchmark indices saw their biggest single-session fall in almost five years, he said.

Rattling global market sentiments, crude oil prices tanked over 30 per cent following Saudi Arabia's decision to cut prices and raise production after the talks with OPEC+ countries fell out, marking the biggest price crash since the first Gulf War.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 43 on Monday with four people, including a three-year-old child in Kerala who had returned from Italy, testing positive for the disease, Health Ministry officials said on Monday.

Globally, markets remained in sell-off mode amid concerns over the adverse impact of rapid spread of coronavirus on the world economy.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo sank up to 5 per cent. European benchmarks also plunged up to 6 per cent in their early deals.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by another 27 paise to 74.14 per US dollar.

"Indian markets are facing a deluge of negative triggers. Global markets are plunging after the break of an alliance between OPEC and Russia resulted in the worst one-day crash in crude prices (more than 30%) in nearly 30 years, fuelling panic triggered by the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic," Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said.

The Indian stock market will remain shut on Tuesday on account of 'Holi'.

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