Equity indices broke their four-day winning streak to close deep in the red on Friday as the grim COVID-19 situation and lacklustre Asian cues triggered unwinding of risky bets.
The 30-share BSE Sensex sank 983.58 points or 1.98 per cent to finish at 48,782.36. The broader NSE Nifty tanked 263.80 points or 1.77 per cent to 14,631.10.
HDFC twins were the top losers in the Sensex pack, skidding up to 4.38 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Asian Paints, M&M, TCS, HUL, and Maruti.
Only four index components closed higher -- ONGC, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s and Bajaj Auto, climbing up to 4.32 per cent.
However, on a weekly basis, the Sensex advanced 903.91 points or 1.88 per cent, while the Nifty surged 289.75 points or 2.02 per cent.
"Domestic equities fell sharply today on weak global cues and heavy sell-off in financials. Asian markets traded weak on emerging concerns about growth after China's factory activity expanded slower than expected in April."
"A persistent rise in daily caseload and higher number of deaths continue to remain matters of concern for central and state governments and therefore any possibility of further economic restrictions cannot be ruled out by the state governments. Market is expected to be volatile until we see a clear reversal in COVID-19 cases," said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.
Sectorally, BSE finance, bankex, auto, FMCG and industrials indices tanked up to 2.73 per cent, while oil and gas, healthcare and metal closed in the positive territory.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices slipped up to 0.65 per cent. India saw 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The death toll increased to 2,08,330 with 3,498 new fatalities.
Global markets were mixed as investors digested a raft of macroeconomic data and corporate results.
The US posted a robust Q1 GDP growth of 6.4 per cent as economic activities picked up pace in tandem with vaccinations. However in China, both manufacturing and services sector growth weakened, showing the challenges facing countries on the recovery path.
In Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended on a negative note.
Markets in Europe were trading with marginal gains in mid-session deals even as data showed that the euro-area economy contracted 0.6 per cent in Q1, slipping into a double-dip recession.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.31 per cent lower at USD 67.15 per barrel.
The Indian rupee snapped its four-day winning streak and settled 2 paise lower at 74.09 against the US dollar.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 809.37 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.