The market pared losses in early afternoon trade. The S&P BSE Sensex was down 167.88 points at 40,973.97. The Nifty 50 index was down 64.65 points at 12,033.70. The market breadth was ruled by sellers. On the BSE, 916 shares rose and 1305 shares fell. In Nifty 50 index, 12 stocks advanced while 38 stocks declined. Cipla rose 0.52%. Dr Reddy’s shed 0.61%. HAL was up 0.45%. Lakshmi Vilas Bank hit the 10% upper circuit at Rs 18.15. Maruti Suzuki India declined 0.9%. Ashoka Buildcon declined 1.01% to Rs 112.65.
China’s central bank will provide the first batch of special re-lending funds for combating the coronavirus on Monday and will offer the facility weekly to banks later this month. The move comes as the virus outbreak continues to hammer retail spending and industrial production and as economists continue to downgrade their growth forecasts as a result. The growth shock has prompted the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) to prioritize growth over debt control by pledging a series of emergency measures to inject cash into the financial system and wider economy. Under the funding facility, 9 major national banks and some local banks in 10 provinces and cities are qualified for the special funding, according to PBOC Deputy Governor Liu Guoqiang. Those financial institutions should speed up the review process for loan applications and release loans within 2 days, Mr Liu said in a speech posted on the PBOC website. The central bank had earlier said it would ensure funds are directed to production and business activities related to combating the coronavirus. Financial institutions must offer loans from special re-lending funds at up to 100 basis points below the one-year Loan Prime Rate, it said. The depth of the downturn will depend on how quickly the virus is contained and by extension how quickly restrictions on travel and factory production will be lifted.