Sensex tanks 740 points as Covid-19 cases surge; Nifty ends below 14,350 – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Equity indices extended fall for the second consecutive session on Thursday with the benchmark BSE sensex falling nearly 750 points, dragged by auto and banking stocks, amid surge in Covid cases.
The 30-share BSE sensex plunged 740 points or 1.51 per cent to finish at 48,440; while the broader NSE Nifty settled 224 points or 1.54 per cent lower at 14,325.
Maruti, Bharti Airtel, HUL, Bajaj Auto, NTPC and Bajaj Finance were the top laggards in the sensex pack falling as much as 3.98 per cent.
While Dr Reddy’s, ICICI Bank, L&T and HDFC were the only gainers rising up to 0.74 per cent.
On the NSE platform, sub-indices Nifty Media, Auto, PSU Bank falling up to 3.06 per cent.
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According to experts, concerns over the possibility of fresh restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus cases spooked investors.
“The market is definitely worried about the impact of the spread of Covid-19. There would be an economic impact and there are fears over a partial lockdown,” KK Mittal, an investment adviser at Venus India, told news agency Reuters.
The daily Covid-19 cases hit a five-month high on Thursday and the country put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the Serum Institute of India to meet domestic demand.
“The uncertainty in the market continues with increasing risk arising from the second wave of Covid-19 attack in India in the context of a third wave in parts of Europe,” V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, told PTI.
Besides, selling in the Nifty bank index, which has fallen more than 5 per cent this month, has been a major pain point for domestic markets despite a major relief to the sector this week after the Supreme Court rejected pleas for extending moratorium on bank loan repayments, analysts said.
Globally, stock markets were mixed and US futures edged higher ahead of the release of the latest unemployment figures.
Oil prices fell back after surging 6% on Wednesday on concerns over disruptions to shipping from a skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 1,951.90 crore, as per exchange data.
(With inputs from agencies)

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