The major equity indices on the BSE and NSE fell more than 3% on Friday, echoing the drop in global markets as investors dumped riskier assets following the discovery of a new and possibly vaccine-resistant Covid-19 strain in South Africa.
The Sensex slid 1,687.94 points (2.87 per cent) to 57,107.15, while the Nifty 50 fell 509.80 points (2.91 per cent) to 17,026.45. Earlier in the day, both indices had started declining more than 1% and had continued to fall as the session progressed. IndusInd Bank, Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Steel, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Titan Company, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), and State Bank of India were the day's biggest laggards on the Sensex (with inputs from agencies, Indian Express).
On the other hand, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Nestle India were the two winners. Asian Paints and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) largely remained unchanged on Friday.
All but pharmaceuticals closed down on Friday in terms of sectoral indices. The Nifty Pharma index rose 1.70 per cent thanks to Cipla, Alkem Laboratories, and Pfizer. Nifty Realty, on the other hand, declined 6.26 per cent, resulting from falls in Phoenix Mills, DLF, and Sunteck Realty. The National Aluminium Company, JSW Steel, and Jindal Steel & Power contributed to the Nifty Metal's 5.34 percent drop.
The S&P BSE MidCap index concluded at 24,846.51, down 828.90 points (3.23 per cent), while the S&P BSE SmallCap index finished at 28,071.41, down 751.34 points (3.23 per cent) (2.61 per cent). The India VIX (volatility index) rose 24.84 percent to 20.8025.
Concerns over new COVID variants cause the rupee to fall 37 paise versus the dollar
The rupee lost 37 paisas against the US dollar on Friday, according to the Press Trust of India, as investors were concerned following massive selloffs in local markets and fears over a new version of COVID-19.
On the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency began the day at 74.60 and reached an intraday high of 74.58 and a low of 74.92 against the US dollar. The rupee ended the day at 74.89 per dollar, down 37 paise from its previous closing of 74.52.
Global market status report
On Friday, global markets and oil prices plummeted after South Africa detected a quickly spreading coronavirus variety and the European Union suggested banning airline travel from southern Africa.
London's benchmark plummeted by an unusually wide margin of 3.3 percent at the outset, while Tokyo fell by 2.5 percent. Shanghai, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong also saw declines. Wall Street futures fell. In early trade, the FTSE in London fell 3.3 percent to 7,067.17, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 3.3 percent to 15,391.00. The CAC 40 index in Paris lost 4% to 6,789.13.
The benchmark S&P 500 futures sank 1.6 percent on Wall Street. A 2% decline in industrial average was experienced by the Dow Jones.
What actions should investors take?
According to experts, the recent market downturn that is being driven by short-term worries should not worry investors too much. Market investors believe that if the domestic economic recovery keeps on track and immunization rates in India remain high, markets will reach new highs shortly. According to them, these declines should be viewed as investing entry opportunities for investors who are underweight in stocks. It is also crucial to emphasize that long-term investors should not sell their shares in a panic, but only if their investing objectives have been accomplished and they want funds.
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