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Trading Halted For 45 Minutes

Trading in the domestic stock markets was halted for 45 minutes on Monday morning as benchmark indices plunged 10 per cent to trigger the lower circuit. after India entered a lockdown joining several countries in their fight against the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The S&P BSE Sensex index froze at 27,608.80 – down 2,307.16 points from the previous close – and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark was stuck down 842.45 points at 7,903.00. A deep selloff across sectors – led by banking, auto and metal stocks – hurt the markets, as the rapid spread of the corona virus outbreak forced more countries to declare lockdowns, hurting businesses.

Monday’s trading halt was a second within a period of seven trading sessions, as world markets continued to suffer the worst selloff since the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

The Nifty Bank index – comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country including heavyweights SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank – was down 12.74 per cent.

Asian stock markets sank as a rising tide of national lockdowns threatened to overwhelm policymakers’ frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 3.8 per cent, with New Zealand’s market shedding a record 10 per cent as the government closed all non-essential businesses. Shanghai blue chips dropped 2.3 per cent, though Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.8 per cent aided perhaps by expectations of more aggressive asset buying by the Bank of Japan.

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