Indices turn lower as early gains fizzle out; financials drag

Sensex gave up all the day's gains to end 63 points lower as spiking number of COVID-19 cases in the country created an uncertainty about lockdown.
Sensex and Nifty, COVID-19.

Mumbai, May 5 (PTI) Benchmarks Sensex and Nifty failed to hold onto early gains and slipped into the red towards the fag-end of the session on Tuesday, due to a fag-end selloff in financial stocks as investors fretted over muted earnings and economic uncertainties injected by COVID-19.

The BSE gauge Sensex tumbled over 810 points from its day’s high to end at 31,453.51, down 261.84 points or 0.83 per cent; while the NSE barometer Nifty closed at 9,205.60, slipping 87.90 points or 0.95 per cent.

State Bank of India (SBI) was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding over 4 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, M&M, PowerGrid, ONGC and Reliance Industries were among the major gainers.

Sectorally, BSE realty, bankex, finance, healthcare, capital goods, FMCG and industrials indices fell up to 2.97 per cent.

While power, energy, utilities and oil and gas indices rose up to 1.27 per cent.

In the broader market, midcap and smallcap indices dropped 0.97 per cent each.

“The benchmark indices ended with a cut of over half a percent, in line with the previous day’s slide… We feel the muted earnings combined with looming uncertainty over the economic situation due to extended lockdown have started haunting the participants,” Ajit Mishra, VP – Research, Religare Broking Ltd, said.

Meanwhile, the rupee recovered 10 paise to close at 75.63 against the US dollar.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures rallied 7.02 per cent to USD 29.11 per barrel.

Bourses in Hong Kong ended over 1 per cent higher, while those in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were closed for a holiday.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with significant gains.

In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,568 and the number of cases climbed to 46,433 on Tuesday, according to the health ministry.

The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed over 35.84 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.51 lakh.

Source: PTI

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