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Stock Market Today LIVE Updates: Sensex down 581 points, Nifty dips 205 points at close; all sectoral indices in red

FP Staff

Stock Market Today LIVE Updates:  Sensex was down 581.28 points or 2.01 pecent at 28288.23, while Nifty was down 205.35 points or 2.42 percent at 8263.45. About 574 shares have advanced, 1791 shares declined, and 153 shares are unchanged at close of trading on Friday.

Benchmark indices ended lower for the fourth consecutive session on March 19 but recovered some lost ground from the intraday low point with Sensex closed over 1,500 points off day's low.

At 2.45 pm, the indices dipped after gaining markedly. Sensex slipped nearly 300 points while the Nifty was below 8,400. The rupee was trading lower but off record low of 75.15 per dollar, amid volatile trade seen in the domestic equity market. It is trading lower by 82 paise at 75.08 per dollar against previous close 74.26.

At 2.02 PM, indices made a sharp recovery erasing all the intraday losses. Sensex up over 2,000 points from the lows. Sensex was 29,098.59, up 229.08 points or 0.79 percent. The Nifty was up 7.30 points or 0.09 percent at 8476.10. About 566 shares have advanced, 1640 shares declined, and 109 shares are unchanged.

Indices make a sharp recovery at 11.15 AM. Sensex was trading 516.72 points or 1.79 percent down at 28,352.79 while the Nifty was above 8,300 level

Nifty was trading 119.80 points or 1.41 percent down at 8,349.00.

At 10.o5 AM, the Sensex and Nifty was at 3-year low. Rupee too was at record low. Sensex is down 1798.84 points or 6.23 percent at 27,070.67 and the Nifty  523.15 points or 6.18 percent at  7,945.65.

Earlier, the Nifty breached 8,000 for the first time since December 27, 2016.

US stocks deepened their selloff on Wednesday and the Dow erased virtually the last of its gains since President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration, as the widening repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic threatened to cripple economic activity.

The benchmark S&P 500 index ended down 5.2 percent, though it pared losses late in the day as the US Senate passed legislation to provide billions of dollars to limit the damage from the outbreak through free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave and expanded safety-net spending.

In a move likely to add to the anxiety, Intercontinental Exchange Inc, owner of the New York Stock Exchange, said after the bell that the NYSE will temporarily close its trading floors and move fully to electronic trading beginning Monday.

The NYSE said a floor trader and an NYSE employee had tested positive for the coronavirus, but that they had not entered the stock exchange building. Trading and regulatory oversight of all NYSE-listed securities will continue without interruption, the exchange said.

With airports and hotels emptying and airlines asking staff to take unpaid leave to stem losses, the S&P 1500 airlines index sank 20.8 percent on Wednesday. Shares in major hotel operators Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt fell by about 12 percent to 19 percent.

"The market's really reacting to fear and uncertainty and we don't think it's over until it finds a floor on stock prices. The floor will have to be found in containment of the viral spread and limiting the economic toll of the virus," said Nela Richardson, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

By Wednesday's close, the Dow was up just 0.4 percent from where it was on 20 January, 2017, the day of Trump's inauguration, although it remains up almost 9% from when Trump unexpectedly won the presidential election on 8 November, 2016, often referred to as the "Trump Bump." The S&P 500 is now down about 29 percent from the record closing high it notched on 19 February, as the coronavirus-inspired selloff ended Wall Street's longest-ever bull run. In one of the most dire forecasts yet issued for the potential hit from the epidemic, a JP Morgan economist said the US economy could shrink 4 percent this quarter and 14 percent next quarter, and for the year it is likely to shrink 1.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,338.46 points, or 6.3 percent, to 19,898.92, the S&P 500 lost 131.09 points, or 5.18 percent, to 2,398.1, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 344.94 points, or 4.7 percent, to 6,989.84. The dramatic stimulus measures have only provided short-lived bounces in equities, with investors factoring in a global recession and worrying about the duration of the damage extending into the summer. Wednesday's selling at one point triggered another 15-minute trading cutout at a 7 percent decline in yet another day of volatile trading. The Cboe Volatility index ended up at 76.45. "This market went from a position of where we were fearless back at the beginning of February to some days like today where you feel hopeless about what's going on in the market," said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer of Vantagepoint Investment Advisers.

The day's worst-performing S&P sector was the S&P 500 energy sector, which closed at its lowest level since early 2003. US crude futures fell nearly 17% on Wednesday, having touched their lowest prices in 18 years.

Worries about mass debt defaults or writedowns pressured US lenders, sending the S&P 500 banking subsector down 7.9 percent.

Shares in planemaker Boeing Co, long a symbol of US tech and industrial power, sank another 17.9 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 12.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 8.79-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and 294 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 11 new highs and 1,214 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 18.51 billion shares, compared to the 14.6 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Also See: Stock Market Today Updates: Sensex gains 1,325 points to end at 34,103; Nifty rallies 365 points to 9,955; Tata Steel, SBI among top gainers

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