Sensex skids 285 pts on F&O expiry; RIL slumps over 2 pc

Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) Equities resumed their downward spiral on Thursday as concerns over the China coronavirus outbreak sapped risk appetite amid expiry of January derivatives contracts.

India on Thursday reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, with a student testing positive in Kerala.

After swinging over 550 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 284.84 points, or 0.69 per cent, lower at 40,913.82. It hit an intra-day low of 40,829.91 and a high of 41,380.14.

Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty closed 93.70 points, or 0.77 per cent, down at 12,035.80.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, falling 2.62 per cent, followed by Nestle India, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement, M&M and SBI.

On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, NTPC, HDFC, L&T and Maruti ended with gains.

According to analysts, benchmark indices turned highly volatile ahead of the expiry of January futures and options (F&O) contracts.

During afternoon session, markets continued to trade lower led by selling in large-cap stocks which added to the already skittish sentiment ahead of the Budget, they said.

Further, weakness in other Asian bourses as rising concerns over the impact of China's coronavirus on the world economy also affected domestic sentiment, traders said.

'Fears of economic slowdown as the coronavirus spreads to other nations has dampened the mood of investors across the globe. A slew of results announced so far failed to provide a picture of economic revival with banks disappointing due to weak asset quality that triggered profit booking.

'With expectations high, the market to stay focused on the upcoming Budget for further green shoots in the economy,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

All BSE sectoral indices ended with losses, with energy, oil and gas, FMCG, healthcare, metal and IT falling up to 2.29 per cent.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices lost up to 1.26 per cent.

Bourses in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea ended with steep losses. Markets in China remained closed.

Stock exchanges in Europe too opened on a negative note.

Brent crude oil futures fell 1.63 per cent to USD 57.97 per barrel.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated by 23 paise to 71.51 per US dollar (intra-day). PTI ANS ABM ABM