Domestic stock markets started Thursday’s session on a weak note, halting a winning streak that lasted four consecutive days, as Asian equities receded from all-time highs amid widening restrictions in the US. The S&P BSE Sensex index opened 277.81 points – or 0.63 per cent – lower at 43,902.24, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark began the day at 12,839.50, down 98.75 points – or 0.76 per cent – from its previous close.
At 9:42 am, the Sensex traded 43.77 points – or 0.10 per cent – lower at 44,136.28 while the Nifty was down 13.65 points – or 0.11 per cent – at 12,924.60.
Power Grid, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, UPL and HDFC Bank, trading between 1.17 per cent and 2.18 per cent, were the worst hit among 28 lagagrds in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Finserv, Bharat Petroleum, Bajaj Finance and Tata Steel, up 1.65-2.87 per cent each, were the top gainers in the index.
HDFC Bank, Infosys and ICICI Bank were the biggest drags on Sensex.
Analysts awaited news updates from a key Supreme Court hearing on interest waivers for loans under moratorium. The outcome of the case could have far-reaching consequences not only for millions of borrowers, but also for banks.
Share markets elsewhere in Asia eased from all-time highs on Thursday as widening COVID-19 restrictions in the US weighed on Wall Street, while bonds were underpinned by speculation the Federal Reserve would have to respond with more easing.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.50 per cent lower, though that was from a record peak. A jump in new cases in Tokyo resulted in the Nikkei 225 benchmark sliding 0.40 per cent lower, away from a 29-year closing top.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures steadied, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average – one of the three US stock benchmarks – ended down 1.16 per cent. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq shed 1.16 per cent and 0.82 per cent respectively on Wednesday.
Investors in the US weighed surging COVID-19 infections and mounting shutdowns against encouraging vaccine developments.