Investors take Rs 3.7 lakh crore hit as bears damage D-Street for second day amid soaring infections

Investors take Rs 3.7 lakh crore hit as bears damage D-Street for second day amid soaring infections

NEW DELHI: Rising Covid-19 infections continued to batter Dalal Street on Thursday, a second straight day of deep cuts for the benchmark indices, as investors dumped stocks across sectors amid fears that the reimposition of lockdown in parts of the country will disrupt businesses.

The expiration of March series of derivatives (futures and options) contracts also added to volatility. Investors lost Rs 3.69 lakh crore by the end of the day as the market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms came down sharply to Rs 198.78 lakh crore. This is the first time since early February when the total market capitalisation has fallen below the Rs 200 lakh crore level.

The 30-share pack Sensex tanked 740.19 points or 1.51 per cent to close at 48,440.12. Its broader peer NSE Nifty tumbled 224.50 points or 1.54 per cent to settle at 14,324.90.

“Increased rate of infection across the country and world is creating more pessimism in the market, which has increased today due to monthly expiry. After the stellar rally, the market was on a consolidation stage during the last one month, which amplified post the sudden rise in infection impacting future economic growth,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Market at a glance

  • Laxmi Organic Industries lists at 20% premium over issue price
  • Craftsman Automation lists at 9% discount to issue price
  • Metal stocks show resilience; Nifty Metal ends in the green
  • IPO watch: Barbeque Nation issue subscribed 1.86x so far on Day 2
  • WABCO India tumbles 7% as promoter ZF International plans to sell stake

Among the blue chip stocks, Tata Steel was the top gainer, rising 2.87 per cent. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, ICICI Bank, HDFC and Larsen & Toubro were other gainers.
Indian Oil was the top loser in the Nifty pack, falling 4.02 per cent. Maruti Suzuki, Coal India, Bharti Airtel, HUL, UltraTech Cement, Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors were other stocks that ended in the red.

Broader market indices ended with cuts, underperforming their headline peers. Nifty Smallcap slid 2.16 per cent and Nifty Midcap fell 2.04 per cent. Nifty 500 — the broadest index on NSE — declined 1.67 per cent.

SAIL, Aditya Birla Capital, Natco Pharma, Kajaria Ceramics, DCB Bank and Sonata Software were top gainers from the mid- and small-cap indices, climbing in the range of 1-4 per cent.

“We reiterate our cautious stance and suggest traders to focus more on risk management.”

— Ajit Mishra, Religare Broking

Vodafone Idea, AU Small Finance Bank, Future Retail, HEG Infra, Sun Pharma Advanced Research and Balrampur Chini Mills were major losers from the broader market space, falling in the range of 5-9 per cent.

Barring Nifty Metal, which gained 0.02 per cent, all sectoral indices on NSE closed with cuts. Nifty Media was the top loser, down 3.06 per cent, followed by Nifty Auto and Nifty PSU Bank, which fell about 3 per cent each.

Market breadth was in favour of losers as 760 stocks ended in the green while 2,189 counters settled with cuts. As many as 118 securities hit 52-week highs, mostly from the small-cap space. Meanwhile, 63 scrips hit 52-week lows, mostly from the micro-cap space. About 190 stocks hit upper circuit limits and 362 lower circuit limits.

European markets were trading lower at the last count. London-based FTSE was down 0.21 per cent while Paris and Frankfurt declined 0.27 per cent and 0.16 per cent, respectively. Among Asian markets, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China closed in the red, whereas the rest of the markets registered gains.

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