Investor wealth tumbles Rs 6.59 trillion as new Covid-19 strain jolts markets

NEW DELHI: Investor wealth eroded by Rs 6.59 lakh crore on Monday as equities tanked after the UK reported a new strain of the COVID-19 virus.

The 30-share BSE Sensex plunged 1,406.73 points or 3 per cent to close at 45,553.96. The benchmark hit an all-time high of 47,055.69 during the session.

Following the sharp selling, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms plummeted by Rs 6,59,313.65 crore to Rs 1,78,79,323.05 crore.

“Brutal bloodbath witnessed in today’s session after a new coronavirus strain was found in Britain. Market extended losses in late afternoon session, tracking sell-off in the European markets amid concern of fresh travelling lockdown restrictions across countries.

“Uncertainties over the Brexit deal also dented the investors’ sentiments,” said Sumeet Bagadia, Executive Director, Choice Broking.

Global markets were knocked off highs after the UK government reported a new strain of the coronavirus that was up to 70 per cent more contagious.

The UK imposed a fresh lockdown in London and southeast England, warning that the potent new strain of the COVID-19 virus was “out of control”.

All 30 Sensex companies closed the day with losses, with ONGC tanking the most by 9.15 per cent, followed by Indusind Bank, M&M, SBI, NTPC and ITC which shed up to 6.98 per cent.

“Concerns of new COVID-19 strains in the UK and emerging doubts over efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination dented investors’ sentiments globally.

“Indian markets were the worst performer today… profit-booking could also be a key reason as domestic equities have outperformed global markets by a wide margin in recent months,” said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.

In the broader market, the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices tanked up to 4.57 per cent.

All BSE sectoral indices also closed lower, with metal, oil and gas, utilities, realty, basic materials, industrials, power and bankex falling as much as 6.05 per cent.

At the BSE, 2,433 companies declined, while 592 advanced and 167 remained unchanged.

Source: Press Trust of India

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