Key equity benchmarks were hovering near the day's low in early afternoon trade. At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, tumbled 1,105.25 points or 2.21% at 48,924.58. The Nifty 50 index slumped 308.20 points or 2.07% at 14,559.15.
Barring the Nifty IT index, all the other sectoral indices on the NSE were in the red. Banks and financial shares declined sharply.
Selling was broad based. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index declined 1.61% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index lost 1.50%.
The market breadth was weak. On the BSE, 777 shares rose and 1,972 shares fell. A total of 196 shares were unchanged.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, spurted 13.93% to 22.7725. The Nifty 29 April 2021 futures were trading at 14,580, at a premium of 20.85 points as compared with the spot at 14,559.15.
The Nifty option chain for 29 April 2021 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 23 lakh contracts at the 15,000 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 38 lakh contracts was seen at 14,000 strike price.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Ordinance, 2021:
The government has amended the insolvency law to provide for a pre-packaged resolution process for micro, small and medium enterprises. An ordinance was promulgated to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) on Sunday, 4 April 2021.
As per the ordinance, it is considered necessary to urgently address the specific requirements of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) relating to the resolution of their insolvency, due to the unique nature of their businesses and simpler corporate structures. It is considered expedient to provide an efficient alternative insolvency resolution process MSMEs to ensure a quicker, cost-effective and value maximising outcomes for all stakeholders, in a manner which is least disruptive to the continuity of their businesses and which preserves jobs.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell from 57.5 in February to a seven-month low of 55.4 in March. However, the latest reading was indicative of a substantial improvement in the health of the sector that outpaced the long-run series average.
Meanwhile, GST Revenue collection for March 2021 has set a new record with highest ever collection of Rs 1,23,902. The GST revenue collected in the last month is 27% higher than that collected in March last year.
The Finance Ministry has informed that GST revenues of March are the highest since the introduction of Goods & Services Tax in the country. During the month, revenue from import of goods was 70% higher and the revenues from domestic transaction are 17% higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.
Further, India's merchandise exports in March 2021 increased an impressive 58.23% to $34 billion as against $21.49 billion in March last year.
Exports during April-March 2020-21 were $290.18 billion, as compared to $313.36 billion during the same period of last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 7.40%.
India's merchandise imports in March 2021 were $48.12 billion as compared to $31.47 billion in March last year. This is an increase of 52.89%. Merchandise imports during April-March 2020-21 were $388.92 billion, as compared to $474.71 billion during the same period of last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 18.07%.
India is thus a net importer in March 2021, with a trade deficit of $14.11 billion, as compared to trade deficit of $9.98 billion. This is an improvement by 41.4%.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 1,33,34,009 with 28,53,360 deaths. India reported 7,41,830 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,65,101 deaths while 1,16,82,136 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Meanwhile, in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray-led state government on April 4 imposed new curbs to control the transmission rate of the contagion. As part of the new rules, a night curfew would be in place across the state from 8 pm to 7 am and a weekend lockdown will be effective from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday. The restrictions, which come into effect from today (April 5), also include a ban on gatherings of five or more people throughout the day. Essential and medical services are exempt from this.
The Nifty Financial Services index dropped 3.63% to 15,332.15. Bajaj Finance (down 5.88%), Bajaj Finserv (down 5.41%), State Bank of India (down 4.51%), M&M Financial Services (down 4.50%) and Sriram Transport Finance (down 4.48%) were major losers.
Stocks in Spotlight:
HeroMoto Corp skid 2.09%. The two-wheeler major reported a 72% increase in total sales at 5,76,957 units in March 2021 from 3,34,647 units sold in the same month last year. Significantly, the company registered its highest-ever sales in Global Business (GB) in a single month by clocking 32,617 units in the month of March 2021, a growth of 82% over the corresponding month in 2020 when it had sold 17,962 units in its global markets.
TVS Motor Company fell 1.46%. Its total auto sales grew 122.94% registering 3,22,683 units in March 2021 as against 1,44,739 units in March 2020. Sequentially, the company's total auto sales jumped 8.37% in March 2021 from 2,97,747 units in the month of February 2021.
Eicher Motors dropped 4.15%. The sale of Royal Enfield motorcycle soared 84% to 66,058 units in March 2021 from 35,814 units in March 2020. Sequentially, the company's total motorcycles sales surged 3.96% in March 2021 from 63,536 units sold in February 2021.
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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)