Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 200 points in early trade on Thursday, tracking losses in index majors Infosys, ICICI Bank, and M&M amid negative cues from domestic and global markets. After opening over 200 points higher, the 30-share BSE index reversed all its gains to trade 216.73 points or 0.45 percent lower at 48,327.33.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 62.55 points or 0.43 percent to 14,442.25. Infosys was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 3 percent, followed by M&M, IndusInd Bank, Maruti, Bajaj Finance, UltraTech Cement, and ICICI Bank.
On the other hand, ONGC, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s, and Kotak Bank were among the gainers. In the previous session on Tuesday, Sensex closed 660.68 points or 1.38 percent higher at 48,544.06, and Nifty surged 194 points or 1.36 percent to finish at 14,504.80.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 730.81 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data. Stock exchanges remained closed on Tuesday on account of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti.
"Amidst the negative of an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases, a relief from the market perspective is that there is no large-scale lockdown," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services. However, the massive restriction of activity in the economically significant state of Maharashtra is bound to have its impact on growth and earnings. The market knows this, but what is unknown is how long will this last and how quickly we can get ahead of the infection cases, he added.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo were in the red in mid-session deals, while Seoul was trading on a positive note. Equities on Wall Street too ended on a negative note in overnight trade after Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey on economic activity pointed to a moderate pace of pick-up in economic activities to start the year with a slight uptick in inflation. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading flat at USD 66.58 per barrel.