Overnight, the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged


Indian stock markets were weak today, tracking Asian markets lower, amid concerns over the impact of coronavirus on global economy. The Sensex was down about 250 points while the broader Nifty struggled to hold 12,050. Asian stocks slumped to a seven-week low and sovereign bonds rallied amid mounting evidence that the coronavirus epidemic in China is disrupting the world’s second-largest economy.

Among the Sensex stocks, RIL, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank and Infosys were down about 1%.

Ajit Mishra, VP – Research at Religare Broking, said: “We expect volatility swings to continue. The Union Budget, scheduled on Saturday, is one everyone’s radar. We advise focusing more on risk management aspects in such a scenario.”

Elsewhere, shares of IDFC First Bank fell 4% today after the lender reported a net loss of ₹1,639 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, hurt by one-time provisions.

“Today is the derivatives expiry day and we are inching closer to the mega event, Union Budget. Volatility with some choppiness cannot be ruled out. Traders are advised to stay light and should ideally follow a stock centric approach. Apart from this, all eyes would be on banking index as it holds a key position in dictating the near term direction for our market,” said Sameet Chavan of Angel Broking.

With the death toll from the coronavirus rising to 170 and the number of cases continuing to increase, investors remained cautious. Overnight, the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged. Chairman Jerome Powell said the outbreak of the coronavirus will likely hit the Chinese economy and could spill wider, but it was too early to assess its impact on the US. (With Agency Inputs)