Equities slide as China virus fears intensify, banking stocks plunge


Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices slipped during early hours on Monday as investors globally were increasingly anxious about the economic impact of China’s new coronavirus.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 113 points to 41,500 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 48 points at 12,200. Most sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative terrain with Nifty metal dipping by 2.23 percent and PSU bank by 0.91 per cent.

Among stocks, JSW Steel saw a steep fall of 4.3 percent to Rs 260.20 per share after the company’s net profit declined by 88 percent to Rs 187 crore in the October to December quarter as compared to Rs 1,603 crore in the same quarter a year earlier.

Tata Steel retreated by 3 percent, Vedanta by 2.8 percent and Hindalco by 2.6 per cent.
Bank of Baroda stumbled by 3.6 per cent after the government-owned lender reported a net loss of Rs 1,407 crore for the quarter ended December 2019.

Kotak Mahindra Bank fell by 1.4 percent, HDFC Bank by 1 per cent and State Bank of India by 0.8 per cent. Auto major Tata Motors and Hero MotoCorp too declined by 1.8 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

However, the gainers included UltraTech Cement, ICICI Bank, UPL, Grasim and Dr Reddy’s.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks traded lower as investors were worried over the economic impact of China’s spreading virus outbreak. Japan’s Nikkei suffered a steep 1.8 per cent loss on track for the biggest one-day fall in three weeks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was off by 0.2 percent although trade in the region has already slowed for the Lunar New Year and other holidays. Financial markets in China, Hong Kong and Australia were closed on Monday.

A day earlier, China’s National Health Commission said more than 2,700 people globally were infected and 80 in China killed by the disease.