Domestic stock markets fluctuated between gains and losses in a volatile session on Friday, as investors assessed the prospect of a global recovery amid rising coronavirus cases in the US and Europe. The S&P BSE Sensex index dropped 365.35 points from 39,988.25, the highest level recorded in early deals, to hit 39,622.90 on the downside. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark was stuck in a range of 11,637.20-11,748.95 compared to its previous close of 11,670.80. Losses in auto and select financial stocks outweighed gains in energy and metal shares.
At 11:22 am, the Sensex traded at 39,649.18, 100.67 points – or 0.25 per cent – from its previous close, while the Nifty was down 21.95 points – or 0.19 per cent – at 11,648.85.
Bajaj Finance, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Eicher Motors, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Divi’s Laboratories – trading between 1.44 per cent and 2.31 per cent lower – were the worst hit among 21 laggards in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, Adani Ports, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Coal India and Grasim – up 1.83-4.77 per cent each – were the top gainers in the index.
Infosys, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank were the biggest drags on Sensex.
Equities elsewhere in Asia extended losses to a a third straight session, as jitters over upcoming US presidential elections and fears that the global economic downturn will persist enveloped the markets.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was last down 0.30 per cent, on track to the end the week 1.30 per cent lower after four straight weeks of gains. The index is up 3.70 per cent so far this month.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark slipped 0.80 per cent. The E-Mini S&P 500 futures stumbled 0.90 per cent in early Asian trading, indicating a negative start for Wall Street on Friday.
Record numbers of coronavirus cases worldwide and the November 3 US presidential election remained the major factors looming ahead for investors.
The falls in Asia occurred despite a solid session on Wall Street overnight, which was helped by a diet of strong quarterly reports from tech giants and data showing the US economy grew at a historic annualised pace of 33.1 per cent in the third quarter.