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Sensex collapses in fag-end selloff, Nifty ends below 9K

Mumbai: Stock indices erased early gains to sink deeper into red on Tuesday as the global equity rout intensified amid the coronavirus-triggered recession fears.

After opening on a positive note, the 30-share BSE Sensex traded modestly higher for a majority of the session, but succumbed to a sudden sell-off in the last hour of trade.

It finally closed 810.98 points or 2.58 per cent lower at 30,579.09, after gyrating 1,653 points during the day.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty slumped 230.35 points or 2.50 per cent to finish at 8,967.05. Nifty has ended below the key 9,000-level after March 2017.

Global markets reeled after the Wall Street suffered its worst crash since the 'Black Monday' in October 1987, with the US Fed's emergency rate cut failing to lift investor sentiment amid the drumbeat of negative news surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unabated foreign fund outflows and a weak rupee further weighed on domestic bourses, traders said.

ICICI Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, tumbling 8.95 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank (8.89 per cent), Bajaj Finance (6.26 per cent), HDFC (4.74 per cent), Infosys (4.68 per cent) and Kotak Bank (4.53 per cent).

On the other hand, HUL spurted 3.49 per cent, Hero MotoCorp 3.09 per cent, Asian Paints 3.05 per cent, PowerGrid 2.53 per cent and Maruti 2.12 per cent.

According to traders, value-buying lifted benchmarks during the first half of the session, but the gains could not be sustained as markets succumbed to coronavirus-led fears of an impending recession.

"After trading in the positive for the majority of the day, the indices turned red during the last hour of trading, with selling mainly seen in financials. European markets and Dow futures added to the negativity.

"Covid-19 showed no signs of abatement and with central banks' monetary policy actions having limited impact, calls were out for more actions to contain the spread of the virus," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE bankex, finance, telecom, teck, IT and realty indices gained up to 4.46 per cent, while FMCG ended in the green.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices ended up to 2.27 per cent lower.

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