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COVID fear: Sensex loses 806 pts, gold hits life-time high


Mumbai: Indian stock markets alongside global equities tumbled and prices of safe-haven assets such as gold logged a record high over fears of further disruption in economic activity owing to the jump in coronavirus-related deaths, particularly outside China.

Growth worries owing to the deadly virus outbreak knocked down the global oil prices by over 3 percent and caused a sell-off in manufacturing sector stocks.

Nifty metal index crashed 5.36 percent as investors distanced themselves from companies such as Jindal Steel & Power Limited, JSW Steel Limited, SAIL, and Tata Steel Limited.

Meanwhile, gold’s record-breaking run continued on Monday as investors sought more and safer haven assets over increased uncertainty due to soaring coronavirus cases. Gold futures for April delivery topped the Rs 43,000 per 10 gm mark for the first time.

“Demand for safe-haven assets spiked as fresh coronavirus cases in South Korea and Italy indicated that business impact could be higher than thought earlier. The Trump-Modi meet is not providing clues to the market regarding trade deals, but the market is hoping for some hints in the future,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

After the volatility index or the India ‘VIX’ climbed over 25 percent, the Sensex closed 806.89 points lower at 40,363.23. The broader Nifty settled at 242.25 points lower at 11,838.60. The BSE mid-cap index closed 1.60 percent lower while the small caps index closed lower by 1.58 percent. Risky asset classes such as equities bore the brunt of coronavirus spread outside China. South Korea reported its seventh coronavirus death and 161 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 763.  (IANS)

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