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Sensex Drops Over 1,200 Points; Nifty Nears 8,250

Indian shares tumbled on Wednesday as rising coronavirus cases around the world and the prospect of a global recession weighed on investors' appetite for riskier assets.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended the session down 1,203.18 points, or 4.08 percent, at 28,265.31, tracking weak global markets and sluggish auto sales numbers for March.

The broader NSE Nifty index plunged 343.95 points, or 4.00 percent, to 8,253.80 as the active COVID-19 cases in India rose to 1,466 397 during the eighth day of the lockdown.

Globally, the infections have risen to 8.6 lakh and at least 42,300 people have died so far.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world faces the most challenging crisis since World War II, threatening a lengthy global recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past.

The U.S. recorded a big daily jump of 26,000 new cases, bringing the total to more than 189,000. The death toll there leaped to over 4,000, with officials predicting the disease could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

Spain reported 864 new coronavirus fatalities today, marking its deadliest day since the crisis began. Italy extended the nationwide lockdown to April 13, even as cases appeared to level off.

HCL Technologies, SBI, Hindustan Unilever, Shree Cement, Infosys, UPL, TCS, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and Tech Mahindra fell 5-9 percent in the Nifty pack, while Bajaj Auto rose about 1 percent and Hero MotoCorp advanced 2.5 percent.

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