Sensex slips 106 points on inflation, coronavirus worries

Mumbai (IANS) Indian markets closed lower on Thursday along with major world indices over a sharp rise in coronavirus-related deaths in China. Increase in retail inflation and prices of LPG cylinder also dampened the investors' mood further.

China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, reported 242 new deaths, double the previous day's toll.

The overall toll due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 1,367.

The Sensex closed 106 points lower at 41,459.79 after falling as much as 41,338.31 earlier in the day and the broader Nifty settled at 12,174.65 lower by 26.55 points. Banks and financial sectors stocks closed sharply lower, with ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank and HDFC Bank featuring as the top Nifty losers.

Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services said: "Spike in new coronavirus cases reported across the globe and rise in inflation level for January held markets flat as investors awaited for more cues. Consumer price inflation indicated a prolonged pause in the interest rate from RBI as rise in core inflation from 3.5 per cent to 4.2 per cent came as a surprise which is expected to impact rate-sensitive stocks."

Meanwhile, investors seemed to have ignored rating downgrade by India Ratings and postponement of its December quarter results after Yes Bank said it is in talks with JC Flowers, one of the world's largest distressed asset investors to raise funds.

The shares of Yes Bank on the BSE advanced over 6 per cent on Thursday, a day after the company said it had received non-binding expressions of interest (EoIs) from the likes of J.C. Flowers and Co. LLC, Tilden Park Capital Management LP, OHA (UK) LLP and Silver Point Capital.

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