.Equity benchmark indices were in the negative zone during early hours on Tuesday as countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain due to fears about a new strain of coronavirus.
Fresh lockdowns in the United Kingdom and concerns over the near-term global growth impact dampened investor sentiment.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 79 points or 0.17 per cent at 45,475 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 14 points or 0.11 per cent to 13,314.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty PSU bank plunging by 2.9 per cent, metal and auto by 1.3 per cent each, pharma by 1 per cent and FMCG by 0.8 per cent.
Among stocks, Tata Motors skidded by 3 per cent to Rs 159.55 per share while Hero Motocorp was down by 1.5 per cent to Rs 2,947.40.
Energy stocks like ONGC and IndianOil Corporation along with Bajaj Finance, State Bank of India, Dr Reddy’s, ITC and Adani Ports too were in the negative terrain.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries lost by 1 per cent to Rs 1,920.35 per share. However, some IT majors like Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys witnessed marginal gains.
Meanwhile, Asian shares slipped on renewed fears of a highly infectious new strain of Covid-19 that shut down much of Britain and could lead to a slower global economic recovery.
Japan’s Nikkei slipped by 0.85 per cent while MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan fell by 0.21 per cent. China’s benchmark CSI300 Index and Hang Seng Index were down by 0.2 per cent.
The new strain of coronavirus, said to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the original, caused travel chaos and raised the prospect of food shortages days before Britain is set to leave the European Union.