Sensex falls 1,600 points, Nifty at 9,514 amid coronavirus fear

Indian benchmark indices started on a weak note on Monday (March 16) with the Sensex losing 1,585.86 points or 4.65% at 32517.87, and the Nifty shedding 440.60 points or 4.43% at 9514.60. About 190 shares have advanced, 730 shares declined, and 62 shares are unchanged.

Yes Bank was among major gainers on the Indices, while HDFC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Sun Pharma, JSPL, Max Financial and DLF were the prominent losers. Yes Bank share price gained as much as 39 percent on Monday after the government notified a rescue plan for the private sector lender. Shares of IndusInd Bank Ltd fell over 9% while State Bank of India shares went down 8%. Oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd plunged as much as 5.4%.

The Indian rupee declined by 15 paise at 74.06 per dollar on Monday against Friday’s close at 73.91.

Benchmark indices traded negative in the pre-opening session. At 09:02 hrs IST, the Sensex was down 45.60 points or 0.13% at 34057.88, while the Nifty plunged 225.35 points or 2.26% at 9729.85.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve has slashed the interest rate effectively to zero in emergency action to boost the the US economy rattled by the coronavirus crisis. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Sunday (March 16) that that the rate cut was aimed at helping the US “weather this difficult period.”

The benchmark Fed interest rate was 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent after a 0.5 per cent cut on March 3 and on Sunday it was slashed by another 1 per cent to the 0 per cent to 0.25 per cent range.

Australia’s benchmark stock index went down 7% in the first quarter-hour of trade.