The frontline indices on BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) erased all of their day’s gains and settled around 1 per cent lower on Wednesday tracking losses in the global markets and on the extension of the nationwide lockdown.
The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 30,379.81, down 310.21 points (1.01 per cent), while the Nifty 50 index fell 68.55 points (0.76 per cent) to settle at 8,925.30.
Both the benchmark indices had opened over 2 per cent higher earlier in the day and climbed nearly 3 per cent higher during the intraday session before gradually erasing their gains and slipping into the negative territory. The Sensex had risen to an intraday high of 31,568.36, while the Nifty had touched 9,261.20.
Just 12 out of 30 stocks on the Sensex ended on the positive zone on Wednesday. On one hand, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), HCL Technologies, ITC, Nestle India, Ultratech Cement and IndusInd Bank were among the top gainers of the day. On the other hand, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Finance, Maruti Suzuki India, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and HDFC Bank were the top losers. (See heatmap below)
Six out of 11 sectoral indices ended lower on Wednesday. The Nifty FMCG index was the top gainer of the day, rising 4.13 per cent led by HUL, Britannia Industries and Dabur India. On the other hand, Nifty Financial Services was the worst sectoral performer, ending 2.75 per cent lower dragged by Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company and Bajaj Finance.
Here’s how the sectoral indices performed:
In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap ended at 11,416.50, up 148.42 points (1.32 per cent), while the S&P BSE SmallCap settled at 10,366.53, up 120.26 points (1.17 per cent).
“Indian markets seemingly set aside the economic implications of the extended lockdown, although it lost ground on the negative opening in the European markets. With the earnings season starting, management commentary, on the impact of COVID-19 on their respective businesses, will be in focus. Almost all sectors have been affected by the lockdown and the market will try to measure the future financial impact of this, rather than focusing on the previous quarter numbers. This is expected to drive stock-specific moves in the market in the coming days. IT companies will officially kick off the earnings season and investors will be keen on how the virus spread has impacted their services and the locations in which those services are offered,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said ina post-market comment.
The rupee pared early gains and settled for the day 17 paise lower at an all-time low of 76.44 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday, tracking weak domestic equities and strengthening of the American currency overseas, news agency PTI reported.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened strong at 76.07, but soon lost ground and finally settled at 76.44, registering a fall of 17 paise over its previous close. During the session, the rupee witnessed high volatility and touched a high of 75.99 and a low of 76.48 against the US dollar. On Monday, the rupee had settled at 76.27 against the greenback.
Global share markets dipped into the red on Wednesday as warnings of the worst global recession since the 1930s underlined the economic damage done during the coronavirus panemdic even as some countries try to re-open for business.
China moved again to cushion its economy, cutting a key medium-term interest rate to record lows, paving the way for a similar reduction in benchmark loan rates, while reducing the amount banks must hold as reserves.
But despite those moves combined injecting a total of $43 billion into the financial system of the world’s second largest economy, they failed to provide a sustained boost for world shares. MSCI’s All-Country World Index, which tracks shares across 49 countries, was 0.37 per cent down.
European stock markets opened lower, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index opening 0.8 per cent lower after five previous days of gains, fuelled by early signs the health crisis was ebbing and on hopes that sweeping lockdown measures would soon be lifted.
Much economic damage has also already been done, with the International Monetary Fund predicting the world this year would suffer its steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
– with global market input from Reuters
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