Mumbai (Maharashtra): Heavy selling in financial and metal stocks dragged equity benchmark indices lower by half a per cent on Wednesday as the government said that number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in India has risen to 28.
The market sentiment was affected after Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that a total of 28 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed and all international tourists coming to India are being screened at airports.
As investors assessed the economic fallout from fast-spreading Coronavirus globally, the BSE S&P Sensex closed 214 points or 0.55 per cent lower at 38,409 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 49 points or 0.43 per cent to 11,254.
Except for Nifty pharma and IT, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty financial service losing by 1.42 per cent, private bank by 1.71 per cent, metal by 0.74 per cent.
Among stocks, Yes Bank was the top loser by dipping 6.09 per cent at Rs 29.30 per share, Bajaj Finance lost by 3.9 per cent, IndusInd Bank by 2.8 per cent and HDFC Bank by 2.7 per cent.
Eicher Motors tumbled by 4 per cent, Tata Motors by 3 per cent and Tata Steel by 3.9 per cent. The other prominent losers were UltraTech Cement, ITC and Bharat Petroleum Corporation.
However, pharma majors Cipla gained by 4.8 per cent, Dr Reddy's by 4.1 per cent and Sun Pharma by 2.7 per cent.
On the international front, the US Federal Reserve announced an emergency rate cut on Tuesday of half a percentage point in response to the growing economic threat from novel coronavirus.
The Reserve Bank of India too said it is monitoring global and domestic developments closely and continuously. It stands ready to take appropriate actions to ensure the orderly functioning of financial markets, maintain market confidence and preserve financial stability, said the central bank.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 ticked up slightly by 0.08 per cent but Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped by 0.24 per cent. South Korea's Kospi was up by 2.24 per cent.