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Corona Pandemic Drag Equity Indices Down By 8 Pc As US Puts Travel Ban From Europe

The BSE S&P Sensex was down by 2,919 points or 8.18 per cent to 32,778 while the Nifty 50 slumped by 868 points or 8.3 per cent at 9,590.

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It was a terrible Thursday for Indian bourses as bears made an unprecedented comeback after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus a global pandemic and the United States suspended travel from Europe.

Oil also slipped further as Russia and Saudi Arabia increase output and see prices fall, sounding alarms in stock markets across the world. At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 2,919 points or 8.18 per cent to 32,778 while the Nifty 50 slumped by 868 points or 8.3 per cent at 9,590. Reports said the Indian market posted its biggest intra-day fall in absolute terms and mounting worries over the fast-spreading COVID-19 wiped out over Rs 11 lakh crore of investors' wealth in a single day.

The number of cases in over 100 countries around the world has risen to more than 124,000 with over 4,500 deaths, including a jump in fatalities in Iran and Italy in particular.

India too suspended all visas, except for a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 to prevent the spread of coronavirus as fresh cases were reported, taking the total number of patients in the country to 73.

All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were deep in the red with Nifty PSU bank down by 12.52 per cent, realty by 8.95 per cent, metal by 8.65 per cent and auto by 7.99 per cent.

Aviation stocks suffered a massive fall with SpiceJet crashing by 19.97 per cent to Rs 48.30. IndiGo said its quarterly earnings will be materially impacted due to declining daily booking, eroding its parent company InterGlobe Aviation's scrip by 11.43 per cent to Rs 1,023.40 apiece.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation plunged by 15.2 per cent to Rs 342.85 per share while ONGC and GAIL declined by 12.1 per cent each. Yes Bank and State Bank of India fell by 13 per cent each while Axis Bank dipped by 12.7 per cent.

The other prominent losers were Hindalco, Vedanta, UPL, FMCG major ITC and Bajaj Finserv.

Meanwhile, global shares crumbled after US President Donald Trump put out a 30-day ban on travel to the United States from Europe in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Investors worried over more disruptions to businesses and the world economy even though Trump said trade will not be affected by the restrictions.

Japan's Nikkei dropped by 4.41 per cent. South Korea's Kospi also plummeted by 3.87 per cent, Shanghai Composite declined 1.52 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 3.66 per cent.

In commodities, oil prices were hit by intensifying price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia on top of fears of a sharp slowdown in the global economy.


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