The benchmark equity indices on the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) crashed over 2.5 per cent each in the opening deals on Friday amid a selloff in the global markets following fears of coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic.
The S&P BSE Sensex slipped as much as 1,083.85 points to 38,661.81 in the early trade on Friday, while the broader Nifty 50 fell 321.40 points to 11,311.90 level.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the virus could become a pandemic as the outbreak spreads to major developed economies such as Germany and France. Around 10 countries have reported their first cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, including Nigeria, which is the biggest economy in the African continent.
The global share markets were headed for the worst week since the steep fall of the 2008 financial crisis as the investors removed risky assets over the rising concerns that novel coronavirus (COVID-19) would turn into a pandemic and trigger a recession in the global markets.
MSCI all-country world index fell 0.5 per cent after a 3.3 per cent drop on Thursday. So far this week, it has lost 9.3 per cent, on course for its biggest weekly decline since a 9.8 per cent plunge in November 2008.
In the US, the Wall Street shares led the rout as the S&P 500 fell 4.42 per cent, its largest percentage drop since August 2011, on Thursday. It has lost 12 per cent since hitting a record close on February 19, marking its fastest correction ever in just six trading days while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,190.95 points, its biggest points drop ever.
In Asia, the MSCI’s regional index excluding Japan shed 2.4 per cent. The Japanese Nikkei slumped 4.0 per cent on rising fears that the Olympics planned in July-August may be called off due to the coronavirus.
In China, the CSI300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares fell 3.4 per cent, on track for its first weekly loss in three weeks.
The US crude futures declined 2.7 per cent to $45.85 a barrel, having already lost a whopping 14.1 per cent so far this week, which would be the deepest fall in nearly nine years.