Sensex Down Nearly 400 Points; Nifty Dips Below 8,150

Indian shares fell sharply in early trade on Friday as coronavirus worries persisted and tightened lockdown across the world fueled fears of a widespread economic downturn.

Worldwide, there are over 10.15 lakh confirmed cases and 0.53 lakh deaths from the coronavirus outbreak. The number of infected cases in India has increased to 2,500 as of Wednesday.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 395 points, or 1.4 percent, at 27,870, while the broader NSE Nifty index was down 110 points, or 1.34 percent, at 8,143.

Aurobindo Pharma slumped 10 percent after it abandoned a USD 900 million deal to acquire Sandoz Inc's US-based generic oral solids and dermatology businesses.

Banks SBI, PNB and ICICI Bank fell 2-4 percent after Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook for the Indian banking system to negative from stable.

ONGC rallied 3.7 percent and Reliance Industries added 0.7 percent after crude prices notched their biggest one-day surge on record overnight on hopes the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia would end soon. Oil marketing companies BPCL, HPCL and IOC were down 1-4 percent.

Hindustan Unilever advanced 1.7 percent after completing merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Tata Steel lost 2.6 percent after announcing it has begun scaling down production at facilities in four major cities. 

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