Domestic stock markets began Wednesday’s session on a lacklustre note with benchmark indices stuck within tight ranges amid caution in Asian equities, as investors weighed the prospect of recovery in global economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 0.23 per cent (98.95 points) to 44,051.66 in early deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbing to as high as 12,896.80, up 0.18 per cent (22.6 points) from its previous close. Gains in bank, automobile and energy shares supported the markets, however losses in consumer goods and select IT stocks limited the upside.
At 11:08 am, the Sensex traded 80.93 points – or 0.18 per cent – lower at 43,871.78, while the Nifty was down 20.35 points – or 0.16 per cent – at 12,853.85.
Bharat Petroleum, Britannia, Hindustan Unilever, Titan and Tech Mahindra, trading between 1.27 per cent and 1.94 per cent lower, were the worst hit among 25 laggards in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, Adani Ports, Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Larsen & Toubro and Mahindra & Mahindra, up 1.58-3.23 per cent each, were the top gainers in index.
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.
Global shares stepped back on Wednesday as soft US retail sales fuelled worries that rising coronavirus cases could stifle a still fragile economic recovery, dampening the euphoria from vaccine trial breakthroughs.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed, drawing support from better handling of the pandemic in much of the region, but Japan’s Nikkei 225 gauge dropped 0.76 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures shed 0.3 per cent in Asian trade, a day after the US benchmark index S&P 500 lost 0.48 per cent, while Europe’s Euro Stoxx 50 futures eased 0.2 per cent.