Mumbai: Resuming its free fall, the BSE Sensex plunged over 2,713 points on Monday, tracking a selloff in Asian peers as the coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on markets.
Dalal Street was buzzing with speculation of an inter-meeting rate cut by the RBI after Governor Shakitkanta Das called a press conference at 1600 hours amid widespread calls for a rate cut following similar steps by the world’s leading central banks.
The rupee depreciated 55 paise to 74.31 per US dollar (intra-day).
The 30-share BSE index settled 2,713.41 points or 7.96 per cent lower at 31,390.07.
Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty gave up the 9,200 level, slumping 757.80 points or 7.61 per cent to close at 9,197.40.
All Sensex components ended in the red. IndusInd Bank was the top loser, followed by Tata Steel, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Infosys and ITC.
According to traders, market became more volatile after RBI’s surprise press conference announcement.
Many analysts, over the past week, have said the RBI has legroom to cut rates to the tune of 65 bps by June. Some like Barclays and BofA have also spoken about the likelihood of an inter-meeting cut (before the April 3 policy meeting).
Global markets have been roiling in fears of a global economic recession led by restrictions in wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Indian markets opened on the negative side following subdued Asian markets post surprise cut by US Fed on Sunday, said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
Reacting to the shutdown taking place globally due to coronavirus scare, mood of the market remained dampened as credit pressures intensified on India Inc, he added.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai dropped 3.40 per cent, Hong Kong 4.03 per cent, Seoul 3.19 per cent and Tokyo cracked 2.46 per cent.
Markets in Europe crashed up to 8 per cent in early trade.
Meanwhile, Brent crude oil futures melted 7.53 per cent to USD 31.30 per barrel.
Covid-19 has claimed over 6,000 lives and infected more than 1,62,000 people across the globe.
The number of infected cases in the country stood at 110 on Monday, the Union Health Ministry said.