March 19, 2020 / 10:02 AM / 12 days ago

Indian stocks off lows after another virus-driven selloff

BENGALURU, March 19 (Reuters) - Indian stocks trimmed much of their losses in late afternoon trading on Thursday after hitting new multi-year lows earlier in the session, as investors snapped up battered stocks following some of their worst selloff in years.

The NSE Nifty 50 index, which slipped below the 8,000 level to hit a near four-year low on growing fears of a coronavirus-led slowdown, was down 2.02% at 8,293.85 by 0937 GMT. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was trading 1.61% lower at 28,375.8.

“The sell-off was due to increased panic and now we are seeing some value buying,” said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.

World stocks crashed again on Thursday as emergency central bank measures in Europe, Japan, the United States and Australia failed to halt a fresh wave of panic selling.

The virus, which originated in China, has spread quickly around the globe, claiming thousands of lives, hammering economic activity and forcing countries to go into lockdown.

In India, several states have closed malls, schools, pubs and government offices in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. As of Thursday, there were more than 130 cases reported in India with three deaths.

In domestic trading, Nifty bank index recovered from over a 9% tumble to trade 1.26% lower.

The Nifty PSU Bank index which tanked 6.6% was last down 2.8%.

The Nifty Auto index, which dropped as much as 8.6%, trimmed losses to trade 6% lower. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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