Stocks

Sensex tumbles 465 points, Nifty falls below 14,500 in afternoon selling

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 04, 2021

Covid concerns weigh on market as states plan strict lockdowns

The market ended on a negative note on Tuesday, erasing all its early gains as concerns related to the Covid-19 situation in India remain with some states contemplating severe lockdowns.

Benchmark indices closed in the red, dragged by pharma stocks. After opening on a positive note, the market which had largely remained positive in the first half, turned red in the second half, extending losses at closing hours, as foreign portfolio investors remain in sell mode.

The BSE Sensex, which had hit an intraday high of 48,996.53 in the first half, closed at 48,253.51, down 465.01 points or 0.95 per cent. It hit an intraday low of 48,149.45. The Nifty 50 also closed near the day’s low at 14,496.50, down 137.65 points. During the closing hours, it registered a low of 14,461.50, though Nifty touched a high of 14,723.40 in the morning session.

The breadth of the market was in favour of decliners, with 1,383 stocks advancing, 1,585 declining and 173 remaining unchanged on the BSE. As many as 297 securities hit the upper circuit and 201 hit the lower circuit, while 292 hit their 52-week high, and 30 touched their 52-week low.

Binod Modi, Head, Strategy, at Reliance Securities, said domestic equities gave up gains towards the second half of the day and fell sharply as mounting uncertainty led by a rise in the second wave of Covid-19 cases weighed on investors’ sentiments. Barring PSU banks, selling pressure was visible across sectors, with pharma witnessing a steep correction today.

"While a persistent increase in the daily caseload in several states is still a matter of concern, a visible modest decline in new cases in many parts such as Maharashtra and Delhi offers comfort," he added.

SBI Life, BPCL, ONGC, Adani Ports and Bajaj Finance were among the top gainers on the Nifty 50, while Tata Consumer, Dr Reddy’s, Cipla, Reliance and Divi’s Labs were among the top laggards.

"Afternoon trade witnessed profit-taking in the metals & pharma names, as the street exhibited nervousness on regional lockdowns, which accentuated the weakness. In the broader market, paper stocks were sought after today on hardening pulp prices, while coffee producers saw investor appetite," said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

Pharma under pressure

On the sectoral front, all indices except Nifty PSU Bank closed in the red. The Nifty PSU Bank retained gains and was up 3.44 per cent at closing.

Nifty Bank and Nifty Financial Services, on the other hand, erased all their early gains and ended 0.60 per cent and 0.82 per cent lower, respectively.

The Nifty Pharma index logged the highest losses and was down 2.02 per cent. As metal and IT stocks also witnessed profit-booking, Nifty Metal was down 0.62 per cent, while the Nifty IT index was down 0.73 per cent.

Broader indices

All the broader indices closed in the red. The Nifty Midcap 50 was down 0.03 per cent, while the Nifty Smallcap 50 was down 1.08 per cent. The S&P BSE Midcap was down 0.50 per cent, while the S&P BSE Smallcap was down 0.57 per cent.

Despite the market turning weak, the volatility index softened over 2 per cent.

Published on May 04, 2021

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