Sensex closes 870 points lower as record Covid-19 cases, Maharashtra lockdown roil investor sentiment

Rising cases of coronavirus across the country and a partial lockdown in Maharashtra roiled the Indian equity market today. The crash came despite healthy gains in global markets especially in the US. Sensex closed 870 points lower at 49,159 and Nifty lost 229 points to 14,637.

India recorded over 1 lakh coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day rise since the pandemic began last year.

Sentiment on Dalal Street was also affected after the Maharashtra government imposed a night curfew in the state from 8 pm to 7 am from today.

The state will also go for a complete weekend lockdown from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday.

Top Sensex losers were Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank,  SBI , M&M and Bajaj Auto falling up to 5.81%. Of 30 Sensex stocks, 25 ended in the red.

Top losers today: Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, SBI, M&M, Axis Bank fell up to 6.5%

IT stocks bucked the trend with HCL Tech, Infosys, TCS and Tech Mahindra rising up to 3.08% on Sensex after rupee came under selling pressure.

Banking stocks led the losses with BSE bankex plunging 1,326 points to 36,912. Bank Nifty too slipped 1,179 points to 32,678.

Consumer durables stocks were among the top losers with their BSE index falling 711 points to 32,097.

BSE mid cap and small cap indices fell 232 points and 226 points, respectively.  

Sensex’s bitter relationship with Mondays gets worse

Investor wealth fell by Rs 2.17 lakh crore today after market cap of BSE-listed firms stood at Rs 205.09 lakh crore.

Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities said,”Breaking all the important support, the market went back to 14450/48580 levels and came back. For the last 20 days, 14450/48580 has been working on an important basis. From now on, 14450/48580 would act as a trend decider. However, the market may return to around 14450/48580 or 14500/48800 and the reason is that today’s fall was severe.

All sectors except Nifty IT and Nifty Metals were down. Pandemic sensitive sectors are heavily down for example banks, auto and real estate. The levels of 14670/49300 and 14730/49500 will be major obstacles and it is advisable to reduce weak long positions around the same. Trends above 14900/50100 can be subverted. Overall some days you need to stay stock specific.”

Rupee fell 18 paise to close at 73.30 against the US dollar on strong American currency and risk aversion in the domestic market.

Global markets

Asian stock markets were mixed and US futures were higher on Monday after Wall Street rose to a record on optimism the spread of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal.

On Thursday, S&P 500 rose 1.2% on its last trading day before the holiday, closing above 4,000 points for the first time. In Asia on Monday, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8% to 30,092.74 while the Kospi in Seoul gained 0.2% to 3,119.51.

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