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Sensex plunges over 1,000 points: Here are key triggers for today's losses

Livemint |
Sundaresh Bhat, Partner and Leader
Business Restructuring

18 May 2020

Indian stock markets fell sharply today as the government's stimulus package failed to enthuse the Street, with banking stocks leading the losses. The government has extended a nationwide lockdown to May 31, while easing some restrictions, but a ban on air travel and gatherings at several public places still remained. The Sensex plunged 1068 points to 30,028, wiping out about ₹3.6 lakh crore of investors' wealth. The Nifty settled 3.4% lower at 8,823.

Among the Sensex stocks, HDFC Bank, SBI, HDFC, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank fell between 6% and 8% while IndusInd Bank tanked 10%.

Sumeet Bagadia, executive director at Choice Broking, says: "At present level index is having good resistance level at 9,150 level while support comes at 8,740 levels."

Here are 10 updates from Indian stock markets:

1) A slew of announcements from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that concluded on Sunday, largely comprising liquidity measures, have fallen short of market expectations due to the lack of enough measures to boost immediate demand and consumption.

2) "Stimulus 2.0 did not offer much to the corporate sector, at least directly. The policies laudably focused on sustenance of the poorest but did little to boost demand. Structural reforms, if implemented, can boost longer-term growth," domestic brokerage Anand Rathi said in a note.

3) On Sunday, the finance minister said filing of fresh cases under the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) will be suspended for a year and coronavirus-linked defaults cannot be referred to the IBC.

4) Analysts say that this may affect slippages and recoveries for banks. The Nifty Bank index was down about 6.7%.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services: "With the stimulus package announced by the government, not seen as adequate considering the need of the hour and with infections continuing unabated, the markets ended down by around 3.4%, in spite of positive global cues. Most measures may be seen as a long-term positive and markets were more worried about the immediate impact of these measures. With concerns about rising NPAs, financials were most affected. Uncertainty is likely to continue impacting the market performance".

5) Sundaresh Bhat, partner at BDO India, said: "A blanket suspension on initiation of the IBC process that could gravely impact asset preservation and may lead to drastic erosion in recovery to the lenders."

6) Goldman Sachs economists expect India's real GDP to fall by 5% in the 2021 fiscal year, which would be deeper than any other recession India has ever experienced.

7) They expect GDP to contract by an annualized 45% in the second quarter from the prior three months, compared with Goldman’s previous forecast of a 20% slump. But a stronger rebound of 20% is now seen for the third quarter.

8) India's tally of COVID-19 infections surged past 96,000 today, while deaths surpassed 3,000.

9) Meanwhile, gold prices have surged to record highs in India, inching closer to ₹48,000 per 10 gram in futures markets amid firm global rates.

10) Economic uncertainties triggered by coronavirus crisis and fresh US-China tensions and anticipation of further stimulus has boosted the safe haven appeal of gold.