BSE Sensex above 50,000 on occasion celebration. Image Source: IANS News

Mumbai, April 12 : Rising Covid cases along with movement restrictions and fears of another potential lockdown spooked investors leading to the biggest sell-off of 2021.

Accordingly, the new cases count has crossed 1.5 lakh for the first time on April 11.

This spooked investors and led the S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 to crash by around 3.5 per cent each.

Notably, majority of sectors ended in deep red with massive selling being witnessed in PSU banks, followed by media, realty, private banks, financials, metals, auto, infra and energy.

Besides, India VIX spiked by 16.25 per cent from 19.78 to 22.99 levels.

Global cues also remained mixed amidst absence of any fresh trigger and caution ahead of start of earnings season.

Furthermore, rupee weakened to a more than eight-month low of 75.14 against the dollar.

At the end of the day, Sensex close at 47,883.38, lower by 1,707.94 points or 3.44 per cent from its previous close of 49,591.32.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 14,310.80, lower by 524.05 points or 3.53 per cent from its previous close.

"India's benchmark indices slumped to a 10-week low as daily Covid-19 infections surged. Investors remained worried about the economic fallout of the fresh surge in coronavirus cases and the subsequent restrictions announced by several state governments," Deepak Jasani- Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

"These developments could jeopardise the market's assumption of around 11 per cent GDP growth and above 30 per cent Nifty earnings growth. Advance decline ratio plunged to the lowest since February 28 suggesting the amount of panic in the broader markets." According to Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: "Worries over surging Covid-19 cases in the country led to fears of lockdown and additional curbs which dampened sentiment. Numerous restrictions have been imposed by several states to curb the sharp rise in virus cases which could have an impact on the economic activity and slowdown the recovery anticipated." "Prolonged vaccine supply issues and possibilities of lockdown in Maharashtra could further aggravate the situation. Infact Nifty Bank turned negative for the year 2021 after today's fall." In addition, Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said: "Further implementation of lockdowns and all-time high covid cases have dragged the market to a monthly low." "This is expected to impact the economic growth of Q1fy23, more than thought earlier. Implications to the banking and discretionary sector are presumed to be the highest, drifting market to defensives like IT, Pharma and FMCG. This trend may happen for a couple of trading weeks, down a few weeks covid cases are likely to reduce, bringing growth back."

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