March 16, 2020 / 3:10 AM / 20 days ago

India's Nifty 50 set to fall as Fed rate cut fails to ease virus fears

BENGALURU, March 16 (Reuters) - Indian shares were set to fall on Monday, in line with global markets as emergency rate cuts in the United States and New Zealand, and a host of measures worldwide failed to soothe investors panicked by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The NSE stock futures listed on Singapore Exchange were down nearly 4% by 0241 GMT.

The U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates back to near zero, restarted bond buying and joined other central banks to ensure liquidity in dollar lending.

U.S. stock futures plunged 4.8% to hit their downlimit before daybreak in Singapore. The dollar sank more than 2% against the yen.

Australia’s benchmark stock index fell 7% in the first quarter-hour of trade, South Korea’s KOSPI was a shade weaker and MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan off 0.5% to a level not seen since early 2017.

Grim data out of China also weighed on sentiment, with January-February industrial output plunging 13.5% and retail sales down 20.5%.

Last week, world stocks witnessed heavy sell-offs after U.S. President Donald Trump spooked investors with a move to restrict travel from Europe and the European Central Bank disappointed markets by holding back on rate cuts.

Indian stock markets plunged into bear territory on Thursday but recovered on Friday amid hopes of coordinated measures to contain the virus impact.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 3.81% higher on Friday, while the S&P BSE Sensex climbed 4%. However, both indexes fell more than 9% last week. (Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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