Indian stock benchmarks fell sharply on Friday and broke their four-day winning streak as fears surrounding rising Covid business returned to haunt market participants. The Sensex fell 1,068 points and the Nifty 50 index fell below its important psychological level of 14,650, to hit an intraday low of 14,601. Traders were seen to book profits ahead of the election results result. Assembly Sunday amid surge in Covid cases after a four-day hike, analysts said.
The Sensex fell 984 points or 2% to close at 48,782 and the Nifty 50 Index fell 264 points or 1.77% to stand at 14,631.
India on Friday recorded a record daily increase in coronavirus cases of 386,452, while deaths from COVID-19 increased by 3,498 in the past 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party is set to win 156 of the state’s 294 seats, but BJP will secure 121 seats, UK Time News poll of marathon exit polls shows organized since March. A total of six exit polls predict Mamata Banerjee to pass halfway, enough to win a third consecutive term.
The selling pressure was widespread, as the 11 sector indicators compiled by the National Stock Exchange, with the exception of the pharmaceutical stock index, ended in a 3% drop in the Nifty Bank index. The Nifty Financial Services, Private Bank, PSU Bank, Auto and FMCG indices also fell 1-3%.
Mid and small cap stocks outperformed their larger peers, falling 0.5%.
HDFC was Nifty’s best loser as the title fell 4.3% to close at Rs 2,429. HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Adani Ports, Hindalco, Hindustan Unilever, Tech Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, State Bank of India and Shree Cements also fell between 2 4 percent.
On the other hand, ONGC, Coal India, Divi’s Labs, Grasim Industries, Indian Oil, Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s Labs were among the notable winners.
The overall breadth of the market was negative, with 1,587 stocks ending lower while 1,358 ending higher on BSE.