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Worst single-day fall for Sensex

The benchmark index loses a whopping 1,941.67 points to close at 35,634.95

The Indian benchmark Sensex on Monday witnessed its biggest single day fall in absolute terms amid a global sell off in equities.

This came on the back of rising concerns over the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a plunge in crude prices that further fuelled worries about a global slowdown.

The Sensex lost a whopping 1,941.67 points, or 5.17%, to close at 35,634.95 — a 52-week low for the barometer — with all its 30 constituents ending the day with huge losses.

Incidentally, the Sensex has now lost 6,639 points, or nearly 16%, from its record intra-day high of 42,273.87 that was touched on January 20.

The broader Nifty plunged 538 points, or 4.90%, to close at 10,451.45.

More importantly, the India VIX index, considered a barometer of near-term volatility, jumped nearly 35% during intra-day trading to touch a new 52-week high of 34.4, before closing at 30.8 — 20.11% higher than Friday’s close.

“The Indian markets followed the global market meltdown which was triggered by the rapidly spreading virus and a free fall in crude oil prices,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head, Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

Global crude prices registered their biggest drop since the Gulf War in 1991.

After falling to an intra-day low of around $27 per barrel, crude was trading at around $33 a barrel level — nearly 20% lower than previous day’s price — around 8 p.m.

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