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  • Mar 21, 2020 - Worst Hit Indian Sectors Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: 10 Points to Know

Worst Hit Indian Sectors Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: 10 Points to Know

Mar 21, 2020

Coronavirus fears have spooked the investors worldwide with BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty falling over 25% this month, in line with many other global indices.

After sharp corrections in three trading sessions on March 9, March 12, and March 16 by 5.1%, 8.1% and 7.9% respectively, the Sensex crashed by an overall 22% this month.

Let's dive a bit deeper and look at how the impact has been on individual sectors...

  1. While all sectoral indices are in a sea of red since the outbreak of coronavirus, here's a look at the worst hit sectors since coronavirus outbreak:
    Sector Since 1 March (%) Since 1 Jan (%)
    BSE Metal -30% -45%
    BSE Bankex -31% -37%
    BSE Oil & Gas -24% -36%
    BSE Auto -24% -36%
    BSE Finance -30% -36%
    BSE Realty -31% -36%
    BSE Capital Goods -25% -33%
    BSE Power -22% -32%
    BSE Basic Material -26% -32%
    BSE Consumer Discretionary -24% -28%
    BSE IT -25% -27%
    BSE FMCG -18% -22%
    BSE Consumer Durables -24% -20%
    BSE Healthcare -15% -15%
    BSE Telecom -18% -14%
    *Note that prices are as on 19 March 2020
  2. As you can see in the table above, metal sector has been hit the worst on year-to-date (YTD) basis. Note that, the sector has been witnessing selling pressure since last two years. The coronavirus situation has only exacerbated the situation.
  3. Another sector that is largely impacted is banking and NBFCs. After being the most preferred in the Indian equity indices for over half a decade, things have changed for stocks in the financial sector. In India it is a double blow for financial sector in the form of YES Bank fallout and prolonged slowdown which increased the chances of credit quality deterioration.
  4. To put things into context, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were heavily positioned in the Indian financial space, and stocks in the sector witnessed maximum inflows during good times. Downward spiral for financial sector began since IL&FS crisis.

    Both, BSE Bankex and BSE Finance Index have plunged over 30% since the beginning of the month.
  5. Shares of most hotel, leisure and airline firms have tumbled over 60% year-to-date, as the coronavirus outbreak across the world has forced people to cancel vacation plans. India also stand to lose foreign tourists due to the entry restrictions that have been put in place. And this has meant things getting worse for hotels and airlines sector.
  6. Out of the 90 stocks listed on BSE from tourism, hospitality and film distribution segments, only 15 have given positive returns YTD.
  7. Another sector that's facing the brunt is the automobile sector. Coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time for India's auto sector that is battling a prolonged slump in demand. The virus outbreak has added to the pain, hitting production and lowering the demand even further as consumer spending is unusually low. Reportedly, the correction in the auto index is now close to what was seen during the 2008 global financial crisis. BSE Auto Index is down 36% on a YTD basis.
  8. The fall in other indices like FMCG, consumer durables, capital goods and IT is relatively moderate as they do not have any direct impact of the pandemic. However, they too have been witnessing selling amid the sharp correction in Indian share markets.
  9. Interestingly, Indian pharma has been doing much better than the overall index. Since the beginning of March 2020, the Sensex is down by 26% while the BSE Healthcare index is down only by 15% (till 19 March 2020).
    • One factor is the rupee weakness which has weakened well beyond the Rs 75/$ mark. A weak rupee helps exporters and pharma obviously benefits.
    • Another factor is the spread of the novel coronavirus has led global investors to rush for pharmaceutical stocks recently, on back of a rise in demand for generics and branded generics leading to shortages and over-pricing for drugs.
  10. However, as the markets took a breather on Friday, the sectors that rallied the most were BSE FMCG, BSE IT and BSE Oil & Gas indices, gaining over 8% each.

What do you think will be the long-term impact for these sectors? Well, you can let us know by dropping your views in the comments section below.

While most sectors have been falling, our co-head of research, Tanushree Banerjee believes in long term, Indian auto ancillaries, textiles, chemical companies, Pharma R&D contract manufacturers, will all be the major beneficiaries of what she calls the Rebirth of India megatrend.

Also, in times like these, our special report, How to Trade the Coronavirus Crash, will help you get a grip on the current market situation...and figure out ways to profit from it.

This is the most comprehensive report on how to trade the coronavirus, both from a short-term and long-term perspective. I strongly recommend you read it now. Claim your FREE copy here...

Happy Investing!

Rini Mehta

Rini Mehta is a keen follower of the stock markets and economy. At Equitymaster, she covers daily stock market moves and broader market trends across Indian and global markets.

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