Mumbai– The benchmark Sensex started the week on a sombre note on Monday. With Coronavirus-related deaths climbing up to 900, its impact on trade and demand is increasingly dampening investors mood globally.

Besides, poor vehicles sales figures prompted investors to push the sell button on listed auto firms. Barring MRF, all other auto stocks in the Nifty Auto index closed lower. The index was the top sectoral loser followed by the Nifty metal index.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) fell the most on Nifty losing over 7 per cent after the automaker posted 73 per cent decline in net profits year-on-year.

Vehicle sales across segments have been declining for over a year now. SIAM data of the sales last month compared to January 2019 showed that domestic passenger vehicle sales slipped by 6.2 percent to 262,714 units. The decline in car sales stood at 8.1 per cent, and of two-wheelers at 16.06 per cent.

Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services said: “Market is still in the grip of Coronavirus jitters which will add volatility in the short term. Companies with high exposure to Chinese market either in terms of export or import may be impacted more than others.”

Analysts expect the rest of the week to be volatile for the markets on account of a series of macro data scheduled to be released. Most crucial will the inflation numbers which will have a bearing on the interest rate scenario for the coming months. (IANS)