NEW DELHI: Equity indices snapped four straight sessions of gains on Friday as losses in banking stocks weighed on the indexes. The benchmark BSE sensex plunged 984 points or 1.98 per cent to close at 48,782; while the broader NSE Nifty moved 264 points or 1.77 per cent lower to settle at 14,631.
Major laggards in the 30-share BSE pack included HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra with their stocks down as much as 3.99 per cent.
On the NSE platform, except for Nifty Pharma, all other sub-indices finished in red with Nifty Bank sliding as much as 2.77 per cent.
In the previous session, sensex had finished 32 points or 0.06 per cent higher at 49,766, and Nifty advanced 30 points or 0.20 per cent to 14,895.
“There is a clear cap on the upside and the market valuation is already rich … this is some routine profit-taking before the next news cycle,” Rusmik Oza, head of fundamental research at Kotak Securities, told news agency Reuters.
“There’s also pressure from uncertainty surrounding how much the market will suffer in the first quarter as (coronavirus) cases rise.”
On Friday, India reported a record daily increase in Covid-19 infections at 386,452, while deaths jumped by 3,498.
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V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services told PTI that spiking Covid tells us that the light at the end of the tunnel, which the market is focussed on, is a long way away. But the market is taking cues from the second wave experience of other countries where the curve flattened and fell in around two months.
“This explains the resilience of the market in the midst of very negative Covid-related news. An important point to be understood is that global markets are highly correlated, and therefore, a major correction is likely to be global,” he stated.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 809.37 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 942.35 crore, according to provisional exchange data.
(With inputs from agencies)