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Sensex Plunges 580 Points; Nifty Drops 12,800

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 580 points, tracking heavy profit-booking in financial stocks on Thursday amid a weak trend in global markets.

After briefly touching its record intra-day high of 44,230 in a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index ended 580.09 points or 1.31 per cent lower at 43,599.96.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty hit a fresh intra-day peak of 12,963, before ending 166.55 points or 1.29 per cent lower at 12,771.70.

SBI was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tumbling around 5 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel.

On the other hand, PowerGrid, ITC, NTPC, Tata Steel and Titan were among the gainers.

“Domestic equities witnessed sharp fall as fear of economic restrictions after closure of public school system in New York resulted in profit booking across all markets,” said Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities.

After seeing such a sharp rally since the beginning of November, profit-booking was anticipated, he said, adding financials witnessed steep correction.

Most of the sectoral indices ended in red. However, traction in mid-cap and small-cap stocks remained visible, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the red, while Shanghai and Tokyo closed in the positive territory.

Stock exchanges in Europe also opened with sharp losses.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.65 per cent to USD 44.05 per barrel.

Rupee Depreciates 8 Paise Against US Dollar

The rupee depreciated 8 paise to settle at 74.27 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday, tracking muted domestic equities and strong American currency.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 74.28 against the US dollar and touched an intra-day high of 74.22 and a low of 74.33. It finally closed at 74.27 against the greenback, registering a fall of 8 paise over its previous close.

On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 74.19 against the US dollar.

Forex traders said, the rupee is trading in a narrow range as rising COVID-19 cases in the US and Europe offset positive sentiments surrounding the progress on the vaccine front.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said they have concluded phase 3 study of their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2, meeting all primary efficacy endpoints.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.33 per cent to 92.62.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex closed 580.09 points lower at 43,599.96, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 166.55 points to 12,771.70.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 3,071.93 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.70 per cent to USD 44.03 per barrel.

(With PTI Inputs)

 

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