MUMBAI: Indian stocks closed lower on Monday following the imposition of new restrictions amid rising COVID cases in the country.
Both the key indices opened a gap down and made a feeble attempt to rise through the day. Besides, the Indian rupee fell by most in around two weeks by about 0.5 per cent to 74.89 USD. However, Asian shares gained Monday amid cautious optimism about a global rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
On the domestic front, all sectors ended in the red except pharma. Notably, financials, especially PSU bank stocks, led to the falling sectors. Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 47,949.42, lower by 882.61 points, or 1.81 per cent, from its previous close.
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange ended the day's trade at 14,359.45, down 258.40 points or 1.77 per cent from its previous close.
"Indian benchmark equity indices ended lower on April 19 amid fears of the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 and the consequent lockdowns on the economy," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
Sandeep Gupta, Group Head, Dealing and Advisory, Broking & Distribution, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "Sensex plummeted 2 per cent set for its lowest level since Feb. 1, following a massive across-the-board selloff as mounting Covid-19 cases spooked domestic investors."
"Fear of harsher restrictions and more economic pain amid record surge in Covid-19 cases spooked investor sentiments." Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said: "As the investors remain focused on the rising Covid-19 cases, the market will continue to ride on volatility."
"We can expect stability as daily cases fall in the coming weeks due to lockdown, completion of state elections and immunity with vaccination."