The Bombay Stock Exchange
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), in Mumbai, India | Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg File Photo
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Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex plunged over 1,709 points on Wednesday as talks of stimulus measures to cushion the economic blow of the Covid-19 pandemic failed to cheer markets across the globe.

The BSE barometer swung over 2,488.72 points in a highly volatile session, before ending 1,709.58 points or 5.59 per cent lower at 28,869.51.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 498.25 points, or 5.56 per cent, down at 8,468.80 .

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, plummeting over 23 per cent. PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and NTPC also finished significantly lower.

ONGC and ITC were the only stocks in the index that ended with gains.

Traders said domestic equities failed to hold on to early gains as concerns over an economic recession continued to hammer investor sentiment.

Earlier in the day, S&P Global Ratings lowered India’s economic growth forecast to 5.2 per cent for 2020, saying the global economy is entering a recession amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The agency had earlier projected a growth rate of 5.7 per cent during the 2020 calendar year.

Also read: Oil crash sends new shock through world economy already crippled by coronavirus

Asia-Pacific economic growth in 2020 will more than halve to less than 3 per cent as the “global economy enters a recession”, S&P said in a statement.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Japan too plunged up to 4.86 per cent.

Equity benchmarks in Europe tumbled up to 4 per cent in early trade.

US President Donald Trump has proposed an economic package which could approach USD 1 trillion, a rescue initiative not seen since the great recession of 2008.

Further, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a USD 6.5 billion package for its developing member countries to fight the pandemic.

The number of deaths around the world linked to Covid-19 has topped 7,400, with over 1,80,000 infections recorded globally so far.

In India, the number of infected cases stood at 130, as per the union health ministry.

The rupee depreciated 12 paise to 74.36 against the US dollar (intra-day).

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell over 3.48 per cent to USD 27.73 per barrel.

Also read: While fighting COVID-19, India must reduce bankruptcies, bring cash transfers & tax reliefs


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