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Sensex ends choppy day 42 pts up; Asian Paints jumps 8%, Tata Steel down 4%
On a weekly basis, both, the Sensex and the Nifty50 indices slipped around 1 per cent each
Stock market updates: Domestic equity markets traded within a narrow range on Friday, fluctuating between gains and losses, as a slew of downgrades in the GDP growth forecasts for FY22 along with slowdown in the vaccination programme amid supply crunch kept investors indecisive about the market direction.
India recorded over 343,000 fresh Covid-19 infections on Friday, taking the caseload tally to little over 24 million. According to a government official, two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be made available in the country between August and December, enough to vaccinate the entire population. This comes after Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka decided to suspend the vaccination for people in the 18-44 age group till further orders amid acute shortage of vaccines.
However, favourable global cues helped the indices to limit losses. In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 per cent, with banks and retail stocks leading the gains, following a healthy session in Asia.
Barring Singaporean shares, all other Asian stocks strengthened on reassurances from the US Federal Reserve that a spike in inflation was temporary, with China and South Korea shares advancing 1.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively. Singapore stocks, on the other hand, tumbled more than 3 per cent after the city-state's imposed strict Covid-19 curbs.
Against this backdrop, the BSE barometer of 30-shares culminated the session at 48,732.5 levels, adding 42 points or 0.09 per cent. During the choppy session, the index hit a high and low of 48,899 and 48,473, respectively.
On the NSE, the broader 50-share index defended the 14,650-mark to settle at 14,678 levels, down 19 points or 0.13 per cent.
Overall, 21 of the 30 shares on the Sensex and 34 of the 50 constituents of the Nifty ended the day in the red. Coal India, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Grasim, and IndusInd Bank on the Nifty and M&M, SBI, ONGC, Dr Reddy's Labs, and NTPC on the Sensex ended the day as top laggards.
On the upside, Asian Paints, UPL, ITC, Nestle India, L&T, HUL, Britannia, PowerGrid, and Reliance Industries were the combined top gainers of the day.
Profit-taking in the broader markets was sharper than benchmarks. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices lost 1.2 per cent each.
Sectorally, the Nifty Metal index nursed the steepest loss of around 4 per cent, followed the Nifty Realty index, down 3 per cent and the Nifty PSU Bank and Auto indices, down 2 per cent each. On the upside, only Nifty FMCG index ended in the green, up 2 per cent.