Coronavirus fears will dampen mood further but best time to pick stocks: Experts

Coronavirus fears will dampen mood further but best time to pick stocks: Experts thumbnail
Indian shares fell around 3 percent, mirroring global counterparts, as fears of the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic and hitting growth made the markets jittery across the world.China, where the virus originated, has seen a decline in infections and deaths but the virus that causes the flu-like disease called COVID-19 has spread to other…

Indian shares fell around 3 percent, mirroring global counterparts, as fears of the coronavirus outbreak turning into a pandemic and hitting growth made the markets jittery across the world.China, where the virus originated, has seen a decline in infections and deaths but the virus that causes the flu-like disease called COVID-19 has spread to other parts of the world, including South Korea, Nigeria, Iran, New Zealand, Italy, France and the US.Infected cases worldwide increased to 83,342, with death toll at 2,858, which China accounting for most of the deaths and infections.China has now been battling the novel coronavirus for almost two months.Worried investors and analysts have started cutting economic growth projections for the Asian giant and raised red flag for global growth also, as China is the second-largest economy in the world, say experts.”As the coronavirus is spreading across the countries, the fear factor in markets is going up. Till the time the coronavirus was contained in Mainland China there was compliancy in global equity markets but now as more cases are getting reported in various countries the impact is sharper,” said Rusmik Oza, Senior VP (Head of Fundamental Research-PCG), Kotak Securities.Umesh Mehta, Head of Research at Samco Securities, also said from extreme calmness to extreme pessimism, D-Street was also a victim of the virus outbreak in other countries. “This pandemic led to indices across the globe to witness a sharp fall this week,” he said.The BSE Sensex plunged 1,215.14 points or 3.06 percent to 38,530.52 and the Nifty50 fell 362.50 points or 3.12 percent to 11,270.80, taking the total weekly loss to 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.The Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices also fell in line with benchmarks, falling more than 7 percent on weekly basis.Global rating agency Moody’s expects a recession-kind of a situation if the virus stays for a longer period.”There is a 40 percent chance that the coronavirus outbreak turns into a pandemic—when an epidemic spreads globally and affects a large number of people worldwide — and that if such a situation arises, then it would ‘result in global and US recessions during the first half of this year,” CNBC-TV18 quoted Moody’s Analytics as saying.The fall in six consecutive sessions suggested that the market seem to have started pricing in the likely impact of the virus on earnings and economy.The first quarter of CY20 is expected to be weak but the second quarter, too, may see some weakness if the virus persists.”There is no reason India is any less immune to coronavirus than anywhere else. At least, the first quarter (Q1CY20) is a wipe-out and that, I think, was largely expected anyway and is now imbued in prices,” Mark Matthews of Julius Baer & Co told CNBC-TV18.Gautam Chhaochharia of UBS Securities said, “Base case for the markets till now globally and in India has been that it’s a short-term one-off and the markets and economy will rebound fairly quickly but now it’s getting prolonged and that’s what is causing nervousness that prolonged impact of this could have far bigger impact in terms of economic activity globally.”The market is expected to see some lingering effect of virus, but the market had started looking oversold and throwing a lot of opportunities to accumulate, experts say.”During past instances like coronavirus, markets fell gradually and recovered gradually. This time the fall has been vertical and that too in a matter of few days. Going by past precedence, the recovery in markets (post containment of such epidemics) is equal or higher than the fall. As the fall has been too-fast-too-soon, markets have gone into oversold zone (ie RSI of Nifty-50 has gone to 25 level),” Oza said.Since the risk-reward ratio had turned favourable for the market, it was ideal to accumulate stocks keeping in mind the downside of 11,000 for the Nifty, he said.”Indian bourses have been trading around higher valuations and hence a correction was needed to align the markets as per the mean reversion theory. Hence, this week’s fall is a valuation play with coronavirus as the scapegoat,” Mehta of Samco Securities said.”Investors should not burn their hands by selling in this fall. They should slowly and steadily pick reasonably valued quality stocks in a SIP format as every dip becomes a good buying opportunity.”Arvind Sanger, a Managing Partner at Geosphere Capital Management, told CNBC-TV18 that he didn’t even know if anybody in India had the kit to measure coronavirus effectively. “So, pharma names in general could be winners because you get a lot more treatments and a lot more consumption of a variety of drugs, and it won’t be this one simple, you know, magic bullet drug, then the pharma companies certainly from a demand standpoint are not going to suffer,” he said.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro’s Annual plan for Rs 399/- for the first year. Use coupon PRO2020 (Available on Web & Android only).
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