Consequently, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.6 per cent in afternoon trade, its largest drop since late March while Japan’s Nikkei slid 3.16 per cent. The Hang Seng tech index, meanwhile, fell 3 per cent.
In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.9 per cent while the main bourses in Frankfurt, Paris and London all lost close to 2 per cent.
That apart, on the coronavirus front, the World Health Organization said the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.
Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 3 per cent) was the biggest index loser today, trailed by HDFC, Tech Mahindra, HUL, Bajaj Finserv, Titan Company, and Bajaj Finance. On the contrary, NTPC, ONGC, PowerGrid, Sun Pharma, UltraTech Cement, and SBI were the top gainers, up between 1 per cent and 5 per cent.
The broader markets, however, remained resilient to the market fall and ended higher today. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices gained 0.60 per cent and 0.80 per cent, respectively.