How sentiments change when markets catch the flu: Timeline

ET Bureau|
​1994: Bubonic & pneumonic plague in Surat

​1994: Bubonic & pneumonic plague in Surat

693 suspected cases | 56 deaths

Drug that saved: Tetracycline

When news of plague spread out Sensex fell only 55 points. Over the next 5 sessions, the index shed over 170 points. The index remained composed over the next few months.
​April & May 2003: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

​April & May 2003: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

3 cases, no immediate deaths reported

Drug that saved: Antivirals, steroids

Global markets gained during this period. The Dow Jones Index appreciated close to 20% that year. No palpable effect on Indian stocks.
​May 2009: H1N1 Swine Influenza

​May 2009: H1N1 Swine Influenza

As of August 2010, 1833 had died from H1N1 flu in India.

Drug that cured many: Tamiflu

There was pressure on the indices throughout May and June, but the Sensex ended the year with 80% gain.
​Feb 2015: H1N1 Swine flu outbreak

​Feb 2015: H1N1 Swine flu outbreak

Over 220 deaths

Drug that cured many: Tamiflu (Oseltamvir)

Stock markets ended in the negative zone for a few days in February, but also recovered losses quicktime. The Sensex ended 2014-15 with a 25% gain.
​Dec 2019: Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)

​Dec 2019: Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)

149 positive cases reported in India; three dead (as on March 17, 2019)

Drug: No specific drug, but a few combination anti-viral medicines are said to be effective

The Sensex has declined nearly 20% this year, with most of the losses coming in the last one month. The 30-share index has fallen over 12,000 intra-day points in the last 20 trading sessions.
​Why Covid-19 spooked the markets more than the others?

​Why Covid-19 spooked the markets more than the others?

"Partly it could be because of the over-valuation of markets… During SARS or other epidemics, markets may have been in an under-valued range. “That apart, in the case of Covid-19, social media is creating a lot of awareness. It’s good, but at some levels, it is also evincing dramatic reactions. People fear uncertainty; and there’s an element of uncertainty with Covid as there’s no known medical protocol.” said Nilesh Shah, MD, Kotak AMC.

"Everything was going well two months back, and then Covid came around to spook the market… The situation is bad and there’s a lot of fear in the market.
The market was trying to find a foothold when Covid struck… It was trying come to terms with the oil crisis. When China shut down, Covid moved on from being a global health issue to a global economic issue. Now it has become too big, and nobody knows when it will end. Everything in this world is
interconnected, and all factors rest on an equilibrium. If the equilibrium is broken, it creates pandemonium. We’re in such a state now." said Raamdeo Agrawal, Chairman, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

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