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Regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

Markets fail to sustain rally

Forex traders said rising Brent crude prices and a firm US currency also weighed on the local unit

TT Bureau Mumbai Published 08.04.20, 08:57 PM
Citizens cover their faces as they watch the stock exchange index on a display screen outside the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai

Citizens cover their faces as they watch the stock exchange index on a display screen outside the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai (AP)

Equity benchmarks failed to hold on to intra-day gains on Wednesday while the rupee plunged 70 paise to its lifetime low of 76.34 against the dollar as investors turned jittery amid an unabated rise in coronavirus cases.

Forex traders said rising Brent crude prices and a firm US currency also weighed on the local unit.

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Plunging over 1300 points from the day’s high, the 30-share Sensex ended 173.25 points, or 0.58 per cent, lower at 29893.96. It hit an intra-day high of 31227.97. Similarly, the Nifty closed 43.45 points, or 0.49 per cent, down at 8748.75.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened weak at 75.83 and lost further ground to settle at 76.34, registering a fall of 70 paise over Tuesday’s close of 75.64.

Traders said the previous session’s euphoria evaporated and volatility set in on account of speculation that the central government was mulling an extension in lockdown beyond April 14.

Further, the Indian markets moved in sync with global benchmarks as worries over the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to weigh on investor sentiments.

TCS was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 3.91 per cent, followed by Titan (3.47 per cent), ICICI Bank (2.18 per cent), SBI (1.85 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.80 per cent) and ITC (1.60 per cent).

Sun Pharma, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance were among the top gainers.

“Markets gave up gains, following a negative opening in the European markets and uncertainty regarding the spread of Covid-19 infections. Markets are also uncertain as to the government response after the official 21-day lockdown expires on April 14.

“Some states are looking to extend the lockdown and some are for withdrawing it in a phased manner. The longer the lockdown stays, more the impact on the economy and companies,” said Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services.

Global sentiment turned negative after the US posted a record single-day jump of over 1,800 Covid-19 deaths. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Seoul ended in the red, while Tokyo closed positive.

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