Benchmark indices fall for fifth straight day; Sensex slips 143 points on coronavirus fears, F&O expiry

An electronic screen and a digital ticker board are seen at the BSE building in Mumbai, India, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Image: Bloomberg)

The topline equity indices on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and BSE settled in the negative territory for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday tracking losses in the broader Asian markets which fell amid continued fears of the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic and affecting the global economy.

This apart, the expiry of the February series-futures and options (F&O) contracts also kept the trade volatile during the day.

The S&P BSE Sensex fell 143.30 points (0.36 per cent) to end at 39,745.66. During the intraday trade, the 30-share BSE benchmark had declined as much as 465.69 points to 39,423.27 in the morning session, however it recovered in the latter half of the day.

On the NSE, the benchmark Nifty 50 ended at 11,633.30, down 45.20 points (0.39 per cent). The Nifty February-series contract today expired at 11,632.25, down 0.54 per cent from its previous close.

On the Sensex, shares of ONGC, HCL Technologies, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) were the biggest losers of the day in percentage terms, falling by 2.01-2.61 per cent on Thursday.

Among the sectoral indices on NSE, the Nifty PSU Bank index slipped 2.27 per cent weighed by Punjab National Bank and Bank of India. The Nifty IT index too fell 1.28 per cent weighed by MindTree, Wipro and Tata Elxsi.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index settled at 15,072.19, down 98.45 points (0.65 per cent), while the S&P BSE SmallCap index ended at 14,209.48, down 119.59 points (0.83 per cent).

"Domestic and global equity market got impacted by weak expiry of monthly F&O and selling in the global market due to the spread of new coronavirus cases in some parts of the world. Till last week the market was of the view that coronavirus is going to have only a minimum impact on global economy as situation in China was being contained. But an increase in the number of new cases is changing the view and there are fears of some slowdown in the economy," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said in a post-market comment.