The key equity indices tanked in morning trade as banks and financial shares witnessed steep selling. IT shares bucked weak market trend. The Nifty slipped below the 14,600 mark. A spike in domestic coronavirus cases and fresh curbs imposed by the state government dented investors' sentiment.
At 10:26 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 1126.01 points or 2.25% to 48,903.82. The Nifty 50 index tumbled 345.25 points or 2.32% to 14,522.10.
Infosys (up 0.91%), HCL Technologies (up 0.25%) and TCS (up 0.16%) were the only index constituents currently holding in the green.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, surged 14.14% to 22.82.
In broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index slipped 1.92% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index declined 2.05%.
The market breadth was weak. On the BSE, 700 shares rose and 1800 shares fell. A total of 171 shares were unchanged.
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 131,212,766 with 2,852,462 deaths. India reported 741,830 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 165,101 deaths, 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 Auto index fell 2.79% to 9,743.30. The index had gained 1.62% to end at 10,022.60.
Ashok Leyland (down 4.66%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 4.46%), Eicher Motors (down 4.17%), Bajaj Auto (down 3.66%) and Bharat Forge (down 3.23%), Maruti Suzuki (down 2.74%), Tata Motors (down 2.18%), Hero MotoCorp (down 2.08%) and TVS Motor Company (down 1.65%) declined.
Stocks in Spotlight:
HDFC Bank fell 3.29% to Rs 1437.65. The bank announced that its advances grew around 13.9% to approximately Rs 11,32,000 crore as of 31 March 2021 compared with Rs 993,700 crore as of 31 March 2020. The bank's deposits aggregated to approximately Rs 13,35,000 crore as of 31 March 2021, up by around 16.3% compared with Rs 11,47,500 crore as of 31 March 2020.
CASA deposits aggregated to approximately Rs 6,15,500 crore as of 31 March 2021, a growth of around 27% over Rs 4,84,600 crore as of 31 March 2020. CASA ratio stood at around 46% as of 31 March 2021, as compared to 42.2% as of 31 March 2020
Steel Authority of India (SAIL) rose 2.51% to Rs 85.90. The Maharatna PSU's crude steel production rose 6% to 4.55 million tonnes (MT) in Q4 FY21 from 4.31 MT recorded on in Q4 FY20. SAIL recorded 14% jump in steel sales at 4.27 MT in Q4 FY21 as against 3.74 MT in Q4 FY20.
In line with its focus on reducing the borrowings, the company has reduced its gross debts by around Rs 16,150 crore to stand at Rs 35,330 crore (provisional) as on 31 March 2021 vis-a-vis Rs 51,481 crore as on 31 March 2020.
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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)