Markets End Marginally Lower as Bank Stocks Slide; Post Weekly Loss

Markets End Marginally Lower as Bank Stocks Slide; Post Weekly Loss

The 30-share Sensex slipped below 31,000-mark, to trade at 30,947, down 175 points or 0.53 per cent.

Except for Nifty FMCG and pharma, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative zone with Nifty IT down by 3.5 per cent, financial service by 3.3 per cent, PSU bank by 2.6 per cent and realty by 1.8 per cent.

The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes staged a sharp recovery in last hour of trade to close on a flat note led by gains in metal heavyweights like Vedanta, Reliance Industries and Hindustan Unilever.

Market experts said the investors fear that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's recent announcements on the Rs 20-lakh-crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not boost demand immediately which has taken a substantial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NTPC was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, cracking around 4 per cent, followed by Infosys, PowerGrid, Tech Mahindra, M&M, IndusInd Bank and ONGC.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold stocks worth ₹2,152 crore in the cash segment on Thursday putting tremendous pressure on the markets.

According to Gaurav Dua, Sr VP, Head Capital Market Strategy and Investments, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, equity markets are expected to appreciate the measures and not celebrate it with a big surge due to two key uncertainties - mechanism to fund the relief package, and quantum of immediate outflow from the government coffers. The fact that no major announcement came with regard to the banking sector saw the Bank Nifty index fall by 2.88 per cent or 540 points. While shares of Escorts, Mphasis Consumer fell 4% and 1.5% post-earnings, shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Maruti gained 2.23% post Q4 earnings.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading marginally higher.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 81,970, while the death toll spiked to 2,649, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry.

Globally, there are 44.29 lakh confirmed cases and 2.98 lakh deaths from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of today.

Worldwide oil benchmark Brent crude futures climbed 2.18 per cent to United States dollars 31.81 per barrel.

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