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Trading halted for first time in 12 years after another bloodbath on Dalal Street

NEW DELHI: The bloodbath continued on India’s stock markets on Friday, with both the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty indices triggering lower circuit breakers after plunging as much as 10 per cent within minutes of opening trade. Trading was suspended on both markets for around an hour until 10.20 am.

This is the first time in nearly 12 years that Indian stock markets have had to be halted after triggering the 10% threshold.

The early session saw the Nifty plunged over 10.07 per cent before the trade was suspended, shaving off 966.10 points to dive to 8,624.05 points.

The BSE Sensex shed a whopping 3,090.62 points, down 9.43 per cent, to stand at 29,687.52 points.

The past week has seen global markets turn bearish as the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with an oil price war fans worries over a global recession. Since last Thursday, the Sensex and Nifty have lost over a whopping 22 per cent in value.

The current global stock market dive comes in the wake of the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declaring the Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic.

US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the US, mounting travel restrictions across the world including India is fanning fears of a recession.

On Thursday, both the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty recorded the largest absolute single-day decline in their history, breaking a record set just three days earlier. Sensex had closed the day down by a whopping 2,919.26 points (-8.18%) to end at 32,778.14 points and the Nifty had slumped 8.3 per cent to close at 9,590.15 points, the lowest in two-and-a-half years.

By the time the closing bell had rung, over Rs 11.27 lakh crore in investor wealth had been wiped out in just a day.