Metal shares tumble as coronavirus cases jump in South Korea, Italy

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Shares of metal companies were under pressure on Monday with the Nifty Metal index falling more than 3 per cent on Monday as international concern about the spread of coronavirus outside China grew.

At 09:39 am, the Nifty Metal index -- the top loser among sectoral indices -- was down 3.1 per cent at 2,531 points, as compared to 1.1 per cent decline in the benchmark Nifty50 index.
Among individual stocks, Hindalco slipped 5.92 per cent to Rs 178.10 and Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) dipped 5.11 per cent to Rs 183.50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

Hindustan Copper Limited and Tata Steel were down 4.5 per cent each to Rs 34.90 and Rs 424, respectively. Moreover, Steel Authority of India (SAIL), JSW Steel, Vedanta, Moil, National Aluminium Company, APL Apollo Tubes, Coal India were all down in the range of 2-4 per cent. Hindustan Zinc, Welspun Corp, NMDC, and Ratnamani Metals & Tubes also slipped over 1 per cent each.

In the last few days, South Korea, Italy and Iran have registered sharp rises in coronavirus infection.

The government in Seoul put the country on high alert after the number of infections surged over 600 with six deaths. In Italy, the number of cases jumped to above 130 from just three before Friday. Authorities sealed off the worst affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe.

Iran, which announced its first two cases on Wednesday, said it had confirmed 43 cases and eight deaths.

The number of cases in China have fallen, however, the panic in the markets has led to further selling with investors turning cautious. China, which has seen the vast majority of cases, reported 648 new infections. But only 18 were outside of Hubei province, the lowest number outside the epicentre since authorities began publishing data a month ago and locked down large parts of the country.

The epidemic has cast a cloud over global recovery prospects, overshadowing a meeting of finance leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) top economies in Riyadh. The International Monetary Fund offered a sober presentation to the finance leaders, predicting the epidemic would shave 0.1 percentage points off global growth.


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