Markets end with losses, dragged by financials, FMCG

Markets end with losses, dragged by financials, FMCG

Indian equity indices closed on a bearish note today as investors fretted over rising coronavirus cases in the country that has crossed the 50,000 mark despite a weeks-long nationwide lockdown, and flow of grim economic data.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed 242 points lower at 31,443, while NSE Nifty50 fell to 9,199, down 71 points.

Among sectoral indices, most of them ended flat except Nifty FMCG and Nifty Financials, which closed with losses over 1 per cent. Bharti Infratel, IndusInd Bank, Adani Ports, JSW Steel and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the Nifty50 top performers of the day while NTPC, BPCL, ONGC, Kotak Mahindra Bank and GAIL were the index top laggards.  

Kotak Mahindra Bank was the top drag on the Nifty 50, slipping 3.69 per cent, while the Nifty banking index was down 1.03 per cent.

The Nifty FMCG index, which tracks consumer goods producers, declined 1.4 per cent, with most stocks in the index finishing lower. Godrej Consumer stock slipped the most by losing 4.3 per cent.

As of Thursday, coronavirus infections reached 52,952, while the death toll was at 1,783 in India, which has been under the world’s largest lockdown since March 25.

The economic fallout of the lockdown on an already slowing economy has been devastating, with many businesses reporting zero revenues in April, and millions of Indians rendered jobless.

The delay in the announcement of a second fiscal stimulus has added to the domestic investors’ anxiety as also rising Sino-US tensions lurking in the background.

Comments by US President Donald Trump raising the possibility of further trade friction with China have worried investors who are trying to gauge how quickly the global economy might recover as more nations begin to remove the draconian measures on business and public life.

Trump said he would be able to report in a couple of weeks whether Beijing is meeting its obligations under a trade deal, as Washington weighed punitive action against China over its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

On the economic data front, the Chinese trade data reported a 3.5 per cent rise in exports in April, driven by electronics shipments and textiles, which included a surge in mask exports. The data completely confounded expectations of a 15.1 per cent fall and outweighing a 14.2 per cent drop in imports.

Most Asian markets slipped today, but Japan’s Nikkei 225, reopening after Golden Week holidays, added 0.28 per cent to close at 19,674.77 as shares of Tokyo Electron jumped 3.16 per cent, while the Topix index shed 0.32 per cent to end its trading day at 1,426.73.

South Korea’s Kospi was little changed, inching down less than 0.1 per cent to 1,928.61. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4 per cent to 5,364.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent to 23,980.63, while the Shanghai Composite declined 0.2 per cent to 2,871.52.

Overall, the MSCI Asia outside Japan declined 0.32 per cent. Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed on Thursday on account of holidays.

Benchmark US crude rose $2.51 to $26.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slipped 57 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $23.99 a barrel Wednesday.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, added $1.98 to $31.70 a barrel.