The BSE Sensex plummeted 886 points on Thursday as concerns over the efficacy of the government’s stimulus package and grim global cues hammered investor confidence. After crashing over 955 points during the day, the 30-share index settled 885.72 points or 2.77 per cent lower at 31,122.89. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 240.80 points, or 2.57 per cent, to close at 9,142.75. Market players were disappointed as the immediate spend out of the government’s Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus package was seen to be relatively small, raising doubts about the revival of growth any time soon, experts said. Further, global markets tanked following the WHO’s comments that the novel coronavirus “may never go away”. Tech Mahindra was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, cracking 5.24 per cent, followed by Infosys, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries and NTPC.
On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp, L&T, Maruti, UltraTech Cement and Sun Pharma led the gainers’ chart, climbing up to 2.28 per cent. Meanwhile, the government released truncated data for April wholesale price-based inflation, which showed deflation in primary articles was 0.79 per cent, while fuel and power basket saw a deflation of 10.12 per cent last month amid the nationwide lockdown.
Indian benchmark indices wiped out all the previous session gains with Nifty ended below 9150 level due to unenthusiastic response to the relief package announcements made on Wednesday amid weak global cues.
“Capital goods and media stocks were up while IT, metals, financials, and telecom shares were down. All eyes are now on the balance two announcements by FM over Thursday and Friday,” said Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
Announcing the second tranche of economic stimulus measures post market hours, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said these will be for the benefit of migrant workers, street vendors and small farmers. BSE IT, energy, teck, finance, metal, bankex, oil and gas, power and realty indices lost up to 3.60 per cent, while healthcare, FMCG and capital goods closed with modest gains. The broader midcap and smallcap indices dropped up to 0.63 per cent. Asian markets were in the red after the World Health Organization warned that the novel coronavirus “may never go away”. On top of that, US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell warned of a “highly uncertain” outlook for the world’s top economy.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul closed with losses. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals.
International oil benchmark Brent crude futures surged 3.85 per cent to USD 30.32 per barrel.
On the currency front, the rupee slipped 10 paise to provisionally close at 75.56 against the US dollar.
In India, the death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 2,549 and the number of cases climbed to 78,003, according to the health ministry.
Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 43.47 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.97 lakh.