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MARKET WRAP: Sensex slips 674 pts, financials hit; Nifty settles at 8,084

All that happened in the markets today.

Markets | Coronavirus | MARKET WRAP

SI Reporter  | New Delhi 


Continuing their downward trend, the benchmark indices settled with over 2 per cent loss on Friday as (Covid-19) cases showed no signs of abating. Global confirmed cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday with more than 52,000 deaths. Back home, an ongoing 21- day lockdown has already brought the economy to a standstill.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 27,591, down 674 points or 2.39 per cent amid heavy selling in financial stocks such as ICICI Bank (down 7.5 per cent), HDFC (over 5 per cent), HDFC Bank (down 2 per cent), and Axis Bank (down over 9 per cent). The other major contributors to the index's loss were Infosys, TCS, and Asian Paints. They all fell in the range of 3-5 per cent. 

India VIX cooled-off over 8 per cent to 55.01 levels. On the other hand, the Nifty50 index ended at 8,084, down 170 points or over 2 per cent. In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap index declined over 1 per cent lower at 10,219 whereas the S&P BSE SmallCap closed at 9,409, down over 1 per cent.

Among sectors, pharma stocks continued to rally. The Nifty Pharma index rose around 5 per cent to 7,362 levels with 8 out of 10 constituents advancing. Nifty FMCG index, too, ended in the green - up 0.7 per cent at 26,538 levels. 

On a weekly basis, the S&P BSE Sensex lost 7.46 per cent, while the Nifty50 slipped 6.65 per cent.

RBI cuts money market timing

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut timing for money market operations from 9am to 5pm to 10am till 2pm. Truncated hours will be in operational till April 14.
Global markets

European stock slipped on Friday, erasing meagre gains for the week, as more companies flagged a hit to business from the pandemic while oil prices extended their previous day's gains on hopes of a global supply cut. With virus-fighting lockdowns raising the risk of a prolonged global downturn, investors continued to seek the safety of the US dollar and government bonds, pushing US Treasury yields near their lowest in three weeks.

With over a million people infected worldwide, there were more signs the pandemic would take a massive toll on economic growth. Morgan Stanley said the US economy will shrink 5.5% in 2020, the steepest drop since 1946, with a huge 38% contraction predicted for the second quarter.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.4%, taking MSCI'S All Country World Index down 0.3%. MSCI's Asia-Pacific index outside Japan dipped 0.6% while Japan's Nikkei erased earlier gains to end flat. US stock futures sank nearly 1 per cent.

Brent crude futures gained 3.64% to $31.03, extending Thursday's record 24.7% surge , while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 0.83% to $25.11.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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