Sensex gives up early gains, ends 262 points lower; Nifty below 9,250

Sensex gives up early gains, ends 262 points lower; Nifty below 9,250

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Indian benchmarks closed nearly 1 per cent lower today following a selloff in the last hour of trade.

The S&P BSE Sensex shed 262 points or 0.83 per cent to close at 31,453.51, while the NSE Nifty 50 ended at 9,205.60,  down 88 points or 0.95 per cent. 

Both the benchmarks had opened nearly 1.5 per cent higher earlier in the day and traded in the green for most part of the session on the back of strong global cues.

On the Sensex, the major losers were SBI, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank. On the flip side, Mahindra & Mahindra  Power Grid, Bharti Infratel ONGC, Reliance Industries, NTPC and HCL Technologies were among the top gainers.

Only nine out of 30 stocks in the Sensex pack ended in positive territory.

All the 11 sector gauges compiled by the NSE were trading lower today dragged by SBI, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Axis Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB). 

The Nifty Financial Services index closed 2.03 per cent lower, driven lower by Edelweiss Financial Services, SBI and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company. 

The Nifty FMCG index, too, shed 1.67 per cent driven down by United Spirits and United Breweries.

In the broader markets, the BSE MidCap index ended at 11,391.21, down 111.38  points or 0.97 per cent, while the P BSE SmallCap index closed at 10,649.61, down 103.97 points  or 0.97 per cent.

The Indian rupee rose 10 paise to close at 75.63 against the US dollar today, amid higher domestic equity markets and gains in some Asian currencies.

India’s largest commodities exchange MCX, which reported a 60 per cent fall in daily turnover after curtailment of trading hours, saw the turnover more than double to nearly Rs 20,000 crore following restoration of normal trading hours last week.

Market regulator Sebi had earlier cut short trading hours to 10 am to 5 pm as against 9.00 am-11.30 pm schedule in view of the coronavirus pandemic. This led to the daily turnover falling to Rs 10,000 crore from around Rs 48,000 crore earlier.

World markets and the price of crude climbed on Tuesday as more nations eased lockdown restrictions on business and public life, raising hopes for a recovery from a historic economic downturn.

Stocks advanced in Paris, London and Hong Kong and Wall Street futures suggested a rise on the open. Markets in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul were closed on account of national holidays.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed at 23868.66, up 254.86 or 1.08 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index ended at 5407.10, up 87.30 or 1.64 per cent.

US stock futures climbed 0.75 percent.

The rally tracked late US gains with the S&P 500 ending up 0.42 per cent, driven by Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.56 per cent.

In oil markets, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 7.75 per cent, or $1.58, at $21.97 per barrel, while brent crude futures were up 5.5 per cent, or $1.49, at $28.69.

India on Tuesday saw the biggest single-day surge with 3,900 cases and 195 deaths. The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has reached 46,476 and 1,571 people have died so far, according to Worldometer data. The global tally currently stands at 3,663,961, and 252,758 people have succumbed to the infection so far.