March 9, 2020 / 8:27 AM / 24 days ago

RPT-Indian stocks set for worst day since 2009 on virus panic, oil crash

(Repeats with no changes to text or headline)

By Sachin Ravikumar and Derek Francis

BENGALURU, March 9 (Reuters) - Indian stocks on Monday slumped to their lowest in nearly 17 months, tracking global markets, as panic over the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak intensified and oil prices plummeted 30%.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 6.08% at 10,320.60 by 0804 GMT, setting it on course for its worst day since 2009, while the S&P BSE Sensex plunged 6.25% to 35,234.45. The Nifty hit its lowest since October 2018.

Just three of the Nifty’s 50 components were trading higher. The country’s benchmark 10-year bond yield fell briefly below 6% and was last at 6.0116%.

“The bigger concern is the fast-spreading coronavirus outside China and its impact on economic growth,” said Siddharth Khemka, head of retail research at Motilal Oswal Securities.

“FIIs have been selling relentlessly for the past two weeks,” he said, referring to foreign institutional investors.

Global share markets tumbled and European futures fell 10%, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan losing 3.7% in its worst day since 2015.

“The possibility of Nifty going below 10,000 cannot be ruled out. Some clarity on the coronavirus is required,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets in Mumbai.

Monday’s rout comes after bruising two weeks during which India’s NSE Nifty 50 index has shed 9% on coronavirus fears and an ongoing turmoil at Yes Bank, one of the country’s largest lenders.

Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd fell as much as 13.68%, their worst percentage fall since October 2012 on the slump in crude prices.

Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 107,000 people, claiming more than 3,300 lives and disrupting business supply chains.

Separately, oil prices fell more than 25% and were set for their biggest one-day decline in 29 years, after Saudi Arabia ignited a price war.

News of the virus spread and fall in oil prices brought markets in other countries in the sub continent down as well.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange fell 6 percent or 2,291.69 points to 35,927.98 level. Sri Lankan markets were closed on account of a holiday. (Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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