Markets on Monday opened nervous due to a sharp spike in cases over the weekend and also in line with Asian peers. The recent warnings that India’s economy will recover slower than expected also added pressure .

BSE Sensex fell below the 35,000-mark after falling over 300 points in early trade, while NSE Nifty failed to stay above 10,300 after falling almost 1 per cent. By 10 am, Sensex had fallen over 400 points.

Banking and financial stocks seem to be worst hit as Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Bank were among the top losers. Most of them lost over 3 per cent in early trade. Some of the other laggards were Coal India, Hindalco, JSW Steel, Titan and SBI.

While market sentiments remained largely negative, some FMCG and pharma stocks performed well. They are ITC, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy, Britannia and Nestle.

Among Nifty sectoral indices, only pharma and FMCG managed to stay in the green; all others tumbled with private banks down over 2 per cent.

It may be noted that there has been a sharp rise in the volatility index, signalling that investors are worried about two key factors — scope of recovery and sharply rising coronavirus cases in the country.

Many including IMF and S&P have said that the Indian economy will contract sharply this year and this had made investors nervous. However, the underlining factor for the market weakness is the rising number of cases.

India recorded nearly 20,000 positive Covid-19 cases on Sunday and over 19,000 cases on Monday. The country has so far registered 5.48 lakh positive cases. According to the health ministry, at least 16,475 people have died after getting infected by the deadly virus in India.

Globally, more than 10 million infections have been recorded and half a million people have died after contracting the deadly virus.

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