Investors poorer by Rs 8.69 lakh crore as Covid 2.0 spooks D-Street bulls

NEW DELHI: As India recorded its highest ever surge in new Covid-19 cases, investors dumped whatever they could get their hands on, pushing benchmark indices downhill on Monday. A weakening rupee also made Dalal Street equities unattractive.

Further imposition of lockdowns and all-time high Covid-19 cases have dragged the market to a monthly low. This is expected to impact economic growth in the first quarter of FY22 by a wider margin than anticipated earlier.

The 30-share pack Sensex plunged 1,707.94 points or 3.44 per cent to close at 47,883.38, its worst fall since February 26. Its broader peer NSE Nifty tanked 524.05 points or 3.53 per cent to settle at 14,310.80.

Investors’ wealth declined by Rs 8.69 lakh crore as the total market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies came down to Rs 200.94 lakh crore.

“Implications to the banking and discretionary sectors are presumed to be the highest, drifting the market to defensives like IT, pharma and FMCG. This trend may happen for a couple of trading weeks, down a few weeks Covid cases are likely to reduce, bringing growth back,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Market at a glance

  • Volatility barometer India VIX spikes 16% to 23
  • Dr Reddy’s Labs surges 7% after Sputnik V vaccine approval
  • Tata Power slumps 11% after co terminates $2 billion deal
  • PSU banks tumble on asset quality concerns
  • Pharma stocks show some resilience on rising Covid cases, declining rupee

Among the blue chip stocks, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories was the top gainer, rising 7.09 per cent. Cipla, Divi’s Laboratories and Britannia Industries were other gainers.

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Tata Motors was the top loser in the Nifty pack, falling 9.65 per cent. Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, UPL, SBI, Hindalco Industries and ONGC were other stocks that ended in the red.

Broader market indices ended with cuts much deeper than their headline peers. Nifty Smallcap dropped 5.55 per cent and Nifty Midcap declined 5.68 per cent. Nifty 500 — the broadest index on NSE — fell 4.02 per cent.

“Rising Covid cases combined with the fear of lockdown have pushed the bulls completely on the back foot. We thus suggest maintaining a cautious stance in the near term.”

— Ajit Mishra, Religare Broking

Dr Lal Pathlabs, Ipca Labs, Strides Pharma and Thyrocare Technologies were top gainers from the mid- and small-cap indices, climbing in the range of 1-6 per cent.

SAIL, Aditya Birla Capital, L&T Financial Holdings, India Cements, Route Mobile and Delta Corps were major losers from the broader market space, falling in the range of 9-10 per cent.

All sectors tracked by NSE finished the day weaker. Nifty PSU Bank was the biggest loser, down 9.26 per cent. Nifty Media was down 8.10 per cent while Nifty Realty dropped 7.50 per cent. Nifty Metal fell 6.07 per cent.


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