Indian stock markets witnessed a mayhem on Thursday, following unprecedented rise in panic and economic concerns after the World Health Organization declared spread of the deadly Covid-19 a global pandemic. The benchmark BSE Sensex fell by over 2,900 points while NSE Nifty tanked over 850 points, both reflecting a drop of over 8 per cent in a single day. This was the biggest single day fall suffered by the domestic stock markets in absolute terms.
The deadly Covid-19 has so far claimed over 4,000 lives. The spread of the disease has sparked fear of an economic slowdown and uncertainty. India reported 73 cases of coronavirus. The government has advised Indians against travelling outside the country. It has also suspended all existing visas for travellers though business and work visas for diplomats, officials of UN organisations will not be affected.
According to NSE data, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have become net sellers since February 24. This month, FIIs withdrew a net Rs 20,831 crore from the stock markets.
“The market is going through a tough time since there has been very high news flow. Volatility is increasing day by day because there is a lot of panic among major global investors because of Coronavirus and they prefer to invest in safe havens asset classes like US G-sec bonds and gold,” Shrikant Chouhan, senior vice-president, equity technical research, Kotak Securities said.
Stock markets worldwide suffered huge losses. They crashed in the US following President Donald Trump’s national address on the coronavirus. Trump announced a ban on most travels into the US from Europe. However, the President did not lay out any holistic economic and medical plan to arrest the spread of the virus, which could have soothed the investors’ sentiments. Besides, stock markets in most European markets such as UK, France and Germany suffered losses. The story was the same in Australia and Hong Kong among other markets..