As extended lockdown looms, gloom on Dalal Street

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As extended lockdown looms, gloom on Dalal Street

As India is set for an extended lockdown of two more weeks till the end of April, Dalal Street woke up to Monday blues as the S&P BSE Sensex tanked over 600 points or 2.08 per cent, to 30, 500 levels, while broader Nify50 hovered around 8,920 levels, down 188 points.

Shares of Bajaj Finance were down 7 per cent, Mahindra & Mahindra slipped 6 per cent, and Titan shed 5 per cent while Bharti Airtel jumped 2 per cent. Zee Entertainment, on the other hand, tumbled 10 per cent.

Wisdom Capital market watchers opine that Dalal Street will remain on edge over the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic as severe restrictions on personal movement will have an impact on the economy and businesses.

Indian as well as world markets opened on Monday after a gap of three days as there was a trading holiday on April 10, on account of Good Friday.

On Thursday, Sensex closed at 31,159.62, up 1,265.66 points against the previous close of 29,893.96. While 50-share Nifty closed with sharp gains ending 363.15 points higher at 9,111.90.

The Nifty witnessed the best week in the last six months as the index closed with gains of over 11%.

Asian markets begin week on weaker note

The Asian markets opened on a weak note in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street and European markets, which were closed on account of the Good Friday holiday, and amid worries about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

Nikkei 225 shed 1.04 per cent in early trade, while the Topix index slipped 0.94 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi was also down 0.63 per cent.

Early SGX trading also suggested a negative opening for the Indian bourses. SGX Nifty was at 9,053.80 levels, down 19.70 points.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures are an early indicator of the performance of the NSE Nifty index

Crude oil prices rise

Crude oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Monday after major producers agreed on their biggest-ever production cut, by a record 9.7 billion barrels per day for May and June. But gains were capped amid concern that it won’t be enough to head off oversupply with the COVID-19 pandemic denting demand. in the face of swelling crude supplies and weak fuel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic,

Brent crude futures was up by $1.23, or 3.9 per cent, to $32.71 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.39, or 6.1 per cent, to $24.15 a barrel.

World Bank forecast

Meanwhile, the World Bank said on Sunday India and other South Asian countries are likely to record their worst growth performance in four decades in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

India’s economy, the region’s largest, is expected to grow 1.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the fiscal year that started on April 1. The World Bank has projected it will grow 4.8 per cent to 5 per cent in the fiscal year that ended on March 31.

This week would also be a shortened trading week with the markets closed on Tuesday in observance of Ambedkar Jayanti holiday.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the total number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 8000 while the death toll is now 273. The number of coronavirus infection cases worldwide has risen to 1.84 million, while the death toll stood at more than 114,000.