The Bombay Stock Exchange equity index kicked off the day down 400 points as losses in corporate giants HDFC twins, Infosys and ICICI Bank weighed on the investor sentiment amid looming threat of Covid-19 pandemic.
The 30-share Sensex was trading 440.84 points or 0.88 per cent lower at 49,695.74, and the broader NSE Nifty dropped 116.05 points or 0.78 per cent to 14,729.05 in the early hours on Wednesday.
The HDFC duo was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, Infosys and Kotak Bank. Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and Maruti were among the gainers.
Sensex ended Tuesday 1,128.08 points or 2.30 per cent higher at 50,136.58, and Nifty settled at a nearly two-week high of 14,845.10. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased shares worth Rs 769.47 crore on Tuesday, says exchange data.
Domestic equities do not look to be good at the moment. The recent announcements of night curfews by various state governments and indication of lockdown by the Maharashtra authorities certainly do not augur well for equities, says Binod Modi, Strategy Head at Reliance Securities.
The country recorded 53,480 new infections in the last 24 hours. A toll of 354 lives in the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak has pushed India’s tally to 1,62,468, says the Union health ministry. India’s active Covid-19 cases stood at 5,52,566 at the time of filing this story, while 1,14,34,301 people have recovered from the disease so far.
Modi says that the strengthening dollar index, which gained 1.5 per cent last week and surpassed 93 levels so far this week, can aggravate investors’ concern in emerging markets, including India.
US equities ended lower as concerns of rising bond yields and higher inflation once again weighed on investors’ sentiment, Modi says. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo were in the red in mid-session deals, while Seoul was trading marginally higher. The global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.45 per cent higher at $64.46 per barrel.