Investors' wealth plunges over Rs3.53 trillion as markets crash 883 points

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Investors’ wealth tumbled over 3.53 trillion on Monday as markets crashed amid a sharp spike in coronavirus cases in the country. The benchmark index, Sensex plummeted 882.61 points or 1.81% to close at 47949.42 and the broader index, Nifty lost 258.40 points or 1.77% to close at 14359.45. The indices scaled record high of 52,516 and 15,431 on February 16 amid an extended rally post euphoria over Union Budget on February 1.

Following this, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies dived 353421 crore to 20177325.24 crore.

From the 30-share pack, 28 companies were trading lower led by banking and financial companies – PowerGrid Corporation was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping over 4.17%, followed by ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Bajaj Finserv, Asian Paints, M&M, NTPC, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, HDFC, UltraTech Cement and Bajaj Finance losing more than 3%.

“India’s benchmark indices ended lower today amid fears of impact of the second wave of Covid-19 and the consequent lockdowns on the economy. Nifty opened gap down and made a feeble attempt to rise through the day” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

“Nifty has formed a second down gap in 5 days signifying the underlying weakness. However the close today was near the intra day high thereby making a hanging man type of formation. This could mean some more upside recovery in the near term. However at higher levels, markets will keep seeing repeated selling given the impact of Covid second wave on businesses and the economy” he added.

India’s total tally of covid-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd said “Markets opened on a weak note and lost over one and a half percent amid mixed cues. Participants reacted negatively to increasing restriction announcements from state governments while ignoring the positive global cues”.

“It seems like our markets have decoupled from global counterparts due to rising covid cases in India. Going forward, the covid-19 situation and the pace of vaccination would be a key monitorable for the markets. Further, the earnings announcement from select Nifty majors would induce stock-specific volatility. We maintain our cautious stance in the near term” he added.

From the broader market, the BSE midcap and smallcap fell by 1.93% and 1.64%, respectively.

Market breadth was negative with 2,243 stocks ending lower against 742 ending higher on BSE. 187 stocks were unchanged. Number of shares rising to their 52-week highs stood at 130 against 67 touching their 52-week lows. Tracking the negative sentiment in the market, 220 stocks hit their upper circuits against 353 falling to their lower circuits, respectively.

Foreign institutional investors have net bought $6.93 billion in equity and net sold $2.33 billion in debt since the beginning calendar year, while domestic institutional investors have net sold 19,303.35 crore worth of stocks, according to data on the exchanges.

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