Key benchmark indices are trading weak in early trade on selling pressure in index pivotals. At 9:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 490.19 points or 0.98% at 49,275.75. The Nifty 50 index was down 127.95 points or 0.86% at 14,766.95. Negative Asian stocks and rising COVID cases in India weighed on the sentiment.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.31%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.12%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, is negative. On the BSE, 856 shares rose and 999 shares fell. A total of 65 shares were unchanged.
On the coronavirus front, India for the ninth day in a row recorded fresh Covid infections over 3 lakh with the caseload inching closer to the 4 lakh mark as India reported 3,86,693 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday to discuss the prevailing Covid situation in the country. The meeting, to be held virtually on Friday morning, could also be attended by some top government officials besides Union ministers, according to the report.
On the political front, exit polls on Thursday forecast a tight contest between the incumbent Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the high-profile West Bengal assembly polls, while the ruling Left combine was projected to retain power in Kerala and so was the case for BJP in Assam. However, exit polls projected DMK-led opposition alliance as a winner in Tamil Nadu, while the Congress-led alliance was seen losing the neighbouring Puducherry. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
Stocks in news:
Wipro advanced 3.7%. Wipro announced that it has strengthened its alliance with Citrix Systems, Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The partnership will provide enterprises a robust solution that will accelerate remote working and bring modernization into workspaces.
Titan Company dropped 2.18%. The company's consolidated net profit jumped 62.89% to Rs 564 crore on 58.86% rise in total income to Rs 7,551 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20.
Ambuja Cements rose 0.88%. The company posted 66.6% rise in standalone net profit to Rs 665 crore in Q1 March 2021 compared with Rs 399 crore registered in Q1 March 2020. Net sales during the quarter stood at Rs 3,579 crore compared to Rs 2,760 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, resulting in a growth of 30%.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories rose 1.39%. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories along with its subsidiaries announced the launch of Albendazole Tablets, USP, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of Albenza Tablets, 200 mg, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).
IndiaMart InterMesh lost 6.41%. The company's consolidated net profit jumped 25.73% to Rs 55.70 crore on 5.64% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 179.70 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20.
Escorts fell 1.32%. Escorts said that considering COVID-19 spread escalation, as a precautionary measure, the company will be temporarily shutting down our manufacturing operations, on selective basis, between 1st May 2021 and 3rd May 2021. There will be no impact on fulfilling customer demand because of this as company has sufficient inventory at hand. The shutdown period shall be utilized for routine plant maintenance with employees in essential services present on rotational basis.
AU Small Finance Bank lost 6.41%. The company's net profit rose 38.15% to Rs 168.98 crore on 14.81% rise in total income to Rs 1,569.01 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20.
Overseas, Asian stocks are trading lower on Friday as investors weighed the latest corporate earnings and solid economic growth data.
Data showed China's factory activity expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in April as the official manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index fell to 51.1, from 51.9 in March. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
In US, the S&P 500 closed at record levels on Thursday after blowout earnings results from two of the biggest tech companies in the world: Apple and Facebook.
Apple said that sales jumped 54% during the quarter, with each product category seeing double-digit growth. The company also said it would increase its dividend by 7%, and authorized $90 billion in share buybacks. Facebook's revenue jumped 48%, driven by higher-priced ads.
Economic data released Thursday gave investors an update on the progress of the economic recovery. First-quarter GDP hit an annualized rate of 6.4%.
Back home, the domestic equity indices advanced for the fourth trading session on Thursday. Global stock markets were positive after the US Federal Reserve pledged to maintain easy monetary policy to aid economic recovery. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 32.10 points or 0.06% at 49,765.94. The Nifty 50 index added 30.35 points or 0.20% at 14,894.90.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 809.37 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 942.35 crore in the Indian equity market on 29 April, provisional data showed.
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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)