Benchmarks continued to trade with modest losses in mid-afternoon trade. The Nifty reclaimed 15,200 mark after slipping below that level in intraday. Indices witnessed profit selling after recent steep gains. Pharma and IT shares were under selling pressure.
At 14:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, dropped 348.36 points or 0.70% at 51,739.81. The Nifty 50 index lost 92.55 points or 0.6% at 15,220.9.
The broader market was positive. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.3%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.59%.
The market breadth was almost even. On the BSE, 1,439 shares rose and 1,453 shares fell.
A total of 143 shares were unchanged.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,144.09 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 1,559.53 crore in the Indian equity market on 16 February 2021, provisional data showed.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 10,95,13,903 with 24,19,353 deaths. India reported 1,36,549 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,55,913 deaths while 1,06,44,858 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday said that India is on track to recover from a pandemic-led economic contraction by next year. India could grow 10% in fiscal 2022, the ratings agency predicted in a report. India's fiscal year begins on 1 April 2021 and ends on March 2022 in the following year.
The Indian economy is on track to recover in fiscal 2022, the report said. Consistently good agriculture performance, a flattening of the Covid-19 infection curve, and a pickup in government spending are all supporting the economy. The speed with which the Indian economy recovers from the coronavirus crisis will have "important implications" for the country's sovereign credit rating, according to S&P. "This includes the sustainability of the government's strained fiscal position," the report added.
The Nifty Pharma index lost 1.35% to 12,632.20. The index underperformed other sectoral indices on the NSE.
Lupin (down 2.61%), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (down 1.64%), Divi's Laboratories (down 1.63%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 1.42%), Torrent Pharma (down 1.12%) and Cipla (down 1 %) tumbled.
Numbers to Track:
In the foreign exchange market, the partially convertible rupee depreciated to 72.775, compared with its previous closing of 72.69.
The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper rose to 6.033% from its previous closing of 6.022%.
MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2021 settlement fell 0.59% to Rs 46,620.
The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, rose 0.25% to 90.733.
In the commodities market, Brent crude for April 2021 settlement rose 56 cents to $63.91 a barrel.
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