NEW DELHI: Equity indices plunged on Monday with the benchmark BSE sensex down more than 850 points amid rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.
India recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 coronavirus infections in a day pushing the nationwide Covid-19 tally to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union health ministry data.
The single-day rise in cases surpassed the earlier peak of 97,894 infections reported on September 17, last year, making it the highest since the pandemic began in India.
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After touching an intraday low of 48,581, the 30-share BSE index settled 871 points or 1.74 per cent lower at 49,159, and the broader NSE Nifty sank 230 points or 1.54 per cent to close at 14,638.
Major laggards in the BSE pack included Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, SBI, M&M, Bajaj Auto and ICICI Bank with their stocks down as much as 5.69 per cent.
On the NSE platform, except for Nifty IT and Nifty Metal, all other sub-indices finished in red with Nifty PSU bank and Nifty Financial Services sliding as much as 4.10 per cent.
“The market had run up on the back of the opening up of the economy, and the resultant increase in demand. That entire story is again at risk,” Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities in Mumbai, told news agency Reuters.
“The concern, from a market perspective, is that the virus is spreading so fast and people will not be able to work, and business and profitability will be impacted,” he added.
Indian bond yields were little changed following the largely-in-line borrowing calendar and as traders await the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday.
In the previous session on Thursday, sensex had ended 521 points or 1.05 per cent higher at 50,030, and Nifty rose 177 points or 1.2 per cent to settle at 14,867.
Markets were closed on April 2, on account of Good Friday.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 149.41 crore on Thursday, as per exchange data.
(With inputs from agencies)