Domestic stock markets started Wednesday’s session on a muted note, halting a rally that extended to nine straight days, a day after the International Monetary Fund said India is headed for the biggest slump of any major emerging nation. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell 235.88 points – or 0.58 per cent – to 40,389.63 at the weakest level recorded in early deals, following a flat opening. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark dropped to as low as 11,850.45, down 84.05 points – or 0.70 per cent – from its previous close.
At 9:20 am, the Sensex traded 73.43 points – or 0.18 per cent – lower at 40,552.08 while the Nifty was down 24.00 points – or 0.20 per cent – at 11,910.50. (Track Sensex, Nifty Here)
Lowering its forecast for India, the IMF said the country’s economy will contract 10.3 per cent this year because of the coronavirus pandemic – its biggest contraction since independence.
Banking and financial services stocks declined ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing on interest waivers for loans under moratorium. The Nifty Bank index – which tracks stocks of 12 major lenders in the country – fell as much as 1.09 per cent in morning deals, dragged by SBI, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.
The outcome of the case could have far-reaching consequences not only for millions of borrowers, but also for banks.
Wiipro shares slumped nearly 7 per cent, a day after the Bengaluru-based IT major reported its earnings and announced a share buyback plan worth Rs 9,500 crore. Its net profit rose 3.2 per cent to Rs 2,466 crore in the July-September period compared to the previous quarter.
Analysts awaited more large cap earnings for cues with IT major Infosys to report its financial results later in the day.
Share markets in other parts of Asia slipped on Wednesday as halted COVID-19 vaccine trials and an impasse in US fiscal aid package talks soured risk appetite.
Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said it was pausing a COVID-19 vaccine trial due to a study participant’s unexplained illness. Eli Lilly and Co later said it too had paused the clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment due to a safety concern, leading the US equity market to deepen losses.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was last seen trading 0.2 per cent lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark was also down 0.2 per cent. China’s blue-chip index CSI300 was down 0.3 per cent at the time.