Sensex Sheds Over 400 Points, Nifty Slips Below 14,800

IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, SBI and ICICI Bank are top losers on the BSE

The benchmark indices slipped nearly one per cent in early trading, effectively erasing the gains posted on Thursday’s session, on the back of a sharp jump in coronavirus cases across the country. India crossed the 1 lakh mark in daily Covid-19 cases for the first time ever. At 9:18 am, the BSE Sensex was at 49,630, lower by 400.25 points or 0.76 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,763.55, down 110 points or 0.74 per cent. 

The broader markets are, however, outperforming the benchmark indices; the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index have edged lower by 0.2 per cent each.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat, with China closed for Tomb-Sweeping day and Australia on Easter Monday.

The S&P 500 surged on Thursday to its first-ever close above the 4,000 mark, lifted by gains in Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, as well as optimism about a recovering U.S. economy. The Dow Jones rose 0.52 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 1.18 per cent and Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.76 per cent.

Meanwhile, oil prices edged lower in early Asian trade on Monday after OPEC+ agreed last week to gradually ease some of its production cuts between May and July. Brent crude futures for June fell 16 cents or 0.2 per cent to $64.70 a barrel by 2351 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for May was at $61.32 a barrel, down 13 cents or 0.2 per cent.

Financial stocks are trading weak in today’s session; IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank, SBI and ICICI Bank are the top losers on the BSE, weakening by 2.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent each on the BSE. Bajaj Finserv, HDFC, Bajaj Auto and HDFC Bank are the other significant losers among the BSE stocks.

On the other hand, IT stocks are bucking the weak trend. Infosys, Wipro and HCL Tech have shed around 2 per cent each on the BSE.

The BSE Market breadth is weak. Out of 2283 stocks traded on the BSE, there are 903 advancing stocks as against 1,219 declines.

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