Sensex tanks 894 points

It was another manic Friday on Dalal Street, weighed down by the twin impacts of the fast-spreading coronavirus to more countries, and the central bank’s restrictions on Yes Bank. Investors sold heavily to bring the sensex down by nearly 900 points after it had dived over 1,400 points in opening trade. Banking stocks were at the receiving end as investors were disappointed by reports that State bank of India, the country’s largest lender, was leading a rescue plan to save the troubled private sector lender.

As a result, the sensex opened over 800 points lower at 37,614 and soon dived to an intra-day low of 37,011. But value buying at lower levels helped the index close at 37,577, down 894 on the day. The Nifty on the NSE lost 280 points to close at 10,989. Both the indices are around their five month low levels. Of the 30 sensex stocks, only three closed with gains, while 27 were in the red.

In the forex market, the rupee was also under pressure with the Indian currency closing at 73.78 per dollar, down 46 paise from 73.32 on Thursday. It had hit 74.08 during the day.

Since February 19, the day the coronavirus-related scare gripped the world, the sensex has lost almost 3,750 points or 9%. And investors are poorer by Rs 14.5 lakh crore since then with BSE’s market capitalisation now at Rs.143.6 lakh crore.

Banks led the fall on Friday with SBI down over 6% as DStreet feels leading a rescue package for the troubled private sector lender is a huge negative for the country’s largest bank. The banking index on the BSE closed 3.5% lower.

The Yes Bank stock on Friday crashed a record 85% in early trade to Rs.5.6, from its Thursday close of Rs.37. The drop came after the RBI imposed restrictions on the private lender. The stock on the BSE closed at Rs.16.2, down 56% on the day and with a market capitalisation of Rs.4,132 crore.

According to Motilal Oswal Financial Services head (retail research) Siddhartha Khemka, the rapid increase in coronavirus cases outside of China is worrying investors about future global growth.

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