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Sensex, Nifty fall amid pandemic fear

The pandemic corona virus has put down the stock market for another consecutive day. Domestic market suffered loss in the early hours of trade.

The S&P BSE Sensex index plunged more than 1,950 points in the first few minutes of trade, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark dropped below the 9,400 mark, amid volatile trade.  Despite the gain of around 4 per cent each in S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 on Friday, in a dramatic recovery following an intra-day plunge of more than 10 per cent that triggered a trading halt for the first time since 2009, the benchmark indices suffered their worst week since the same year.

MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5 per cent, to a level not seen since early 2017, while Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.1 per cent following an over 6 per cent decline on Friday to the lowest since late 2016 and South Korea’s KOSPI was a shade weaker.

US stock futures plunged 4.8 per cent to hit their down limit before daybreak in Singapore. Australia’s benchmark stock index fell 7 per cent in the first quarter-hour of trade before paring some of the losses.

Overnight in the US, the Federal Reserve cut the key interest rate by 100 basis points to a target range of 0 per cent to 0.25 per cent, saying that it would expand its balance sheet by at least $700 billion in coming weeks.

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