Equity indices edge lower, banking and metal stocks drag

Mumbai: Equity indices extended morning losses on Wednesday, dragged down by selling in banks and metal scrips, as investors assessed the economic fallout of fast-spreading coronavirus.

At 1 pm, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 353 points or 0.91 per cent to 38,271 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 81 points or 0.72 per cent at 11,222.

Except for Nifty pharma and IT, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty metal losing by 1.73 per cent, realty by 1.5 per cent and private bank by 1.4 per cent.

Among stocks, Tata Steel lost by 4.6 per cent at Rs 369.75 per share while JSW Steel cracked by 2.1 per cent and Vedanta by 1.8 per cent.

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Yes Bank was down by 4.9 per cent at Rs 29.65 apiece as IndusInd Bank edged lower by 2.8 per cent, HDFC Bank by 2.1 per cent and State Bank of India by 1.6 per cent.

The other prominent losers were Tata Motors, Eicher Motors and UltraTech Cement. However, pharma major Sun Pharma gained by 3.5 per cent, Cipla by 3.3 per cent and Dr Reddy’s by 3.1 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.

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