Sensex down 155 points at closing, Nifty below 14,800

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 09, 2021

Pharma in focus; financials and metals drag

Benchmark indices closed in the red on Friday ahead of quarterly results as increasing Covid-19 cases impacted investor sentiments. Market after a flat opening. slipped in the second half, dragged down by banking and financial stocks.  

The BSE Sensex closed at 49,591.32, down 154.89 points or 0.31 per cent. It hit an intraday high of 49,906.91 and an intraday low of 49,461.01.

The Nifty 50 closed at 14,834.85, down 38.95 points or 0.26 per cent. It hit an intraday high of 14,918.45 and an intraday low of 14,785.65.

However, the breadth of the market remained positive, with 1,656 stocks advancing on the BSE, 1,249 declining and 173 remaining unchanged. The number of scrips that hit a 52-week high was 228 as against 24 that hit 52-week lows; 309 securities hit the upper circuit as compared to 180 that hit the lower circuit. 

Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities said, “Domestic equities traded in a range bound today with continued selling pressure from financials. Further, weak cues from Asian markets and concerns of sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the country weighed on sentiments."

Cipla, Sun Pharma, Hindustan Unilever, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consumer were among the top gainers on the Nifty 50 while Bajaj Finance, UPL, Ultratech Cement, Tata Steel and NTPC were among the laggards. 

Market witnessed stock-specific action ahead of the Q4 results. Pharma stocks gained focus. While financials and metal stocks lagged behind.

Pharma in focus 

Among the sectoral indices, the Nifty Pharma recorded the highest gains and closed 3.04 per cent higher.  The Nifty FMCG was up 0.77 per cent while Nifty IT was up 0.81 per cent.

Hower, the Nifty Bank recorded the biggest losses and was down 1.02 per cent at closing. The Nifty Financial Services was down 0.73 per cent and the Nifty Metal 0.62 per cent.  However, the Nifty PSU index managed to extend gains and ended 2.09 per cent higher. 

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said, "Domestic markets traded in a mild negative territory following weak global cues and increasing covid cases. Fall in the market was led by the private banks as concerns on the bank's asset quality spiked with increasing restrictions across states. Buying interest was seen in PSU Banks in hopes of finalisation of potential privatisation candidates".

Midcaps lose momentum 

Midcap and smallcap stocks witnessed increased activity in the first half. While Midcap stocks lost momentum in the second half, smallcap stocks managed to extend gains through the day. The Nifty Midcap 50 was down 0.51 per cent at closing, while Nifty Smallcap 50 was up 0.36 per cent. The S&P BSE Midcap index was down 0.08 per cent while the S&P BSE Smallcap was up 0.69 per cent at closing. 

Notably, the volatility index was down 2.59 per cent.

Moving forward, market is likely to remain volatile in the near term owing to the pandemic scare.

“In our view, continued sharp rise in Coronavirus cases in the country is expected to keep market volatile in the near term. Mobility restrictions at local levels and several states started taking such measures will continue to weigh on investors’ sentiments. Further, recent weakness in INR may also aggravate investors’ concerns and adversely impact FPIs flows,” said Modi.

Published on April 09, 2021

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