Reversing trend from four days of consecutive gains, Sensex and Nifty closed on a bearish note on Thursday, amid mixed global equities. BSE benchmark Sensex ended 148 points lower at 40,558 and NSE Nifty 50 fell 41 points to 11,896. Yesterday, Sensex ended 162 points higher at 40,707 and NSE Nifty 50 gained 40 points to close at 11,937.
ICICI Bank, followed by Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Nestle India and SBI were among the top losers today. On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Bharti Airtel, L&T and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
Barring media, metal, FMCG and realty, all the other indices closed in red territory. Nifty Pharma, private banking and IT were down around 0.70-0.80% each.
S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities said,"Markets today exhibited volatility which the closing probably did not reflect as investors shopped across midcap cement counters as well as pharma stocks. Few PSU stocks including state-owned PSU names witnessed value hunting today".
Global equities traded mixed today amid fears of rising coronavirus cases and fading hopes of reaching an agreement on a key U.S. stimulus bill before the presidential election on November 3. Markets turned cautious globally as Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden will face off in their second and final debate on Thursday night in the US.
Further, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday downgraded its growth forecast for Asia-Pacific. The IMF downgraded its forecast for Asia-Pacific to -2.2% in 2020.
Globally, there were 414.87 lakh confirmed cases and 11.3 lakh deaths from COVID-19 outbreak. In India, COVID-19 caseload breached the 77-lakh mark and the death toll from COVID-19 infections rose to 1.16 lakh, as of today.
Commenting on market's trend today, Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking said," Markets traded lacklustre in a narrow range and ended lower amidst weak cues. Initially, feeble global cues were weighing on the sentiment but failed to trigger any major fall. Markets are currently seeing time-wise correction after a phenomenal recovery and we feel it's healthy for the markets before the next directional move. However, traders are facing tough times due to recent consolidation in the index while stocks are witnessing volatile swings due to the prevailing earnings season and mixed global cues."
Investors are also awaiting Sept quarter earnings reports that will provide a clear picture of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown. Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Holdings, Bharti Infratel, Biocon, Coforge, HDFC AMC, L&T Finance, 3i Infotech, Bajaj Holdings, SBI Cards & Payments, Uco Bank are among the top companies that will be reporting their Q2 earnings.
Expressing views on markets closing today, Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments said: "We closed within the current range of the Nifty: 11650-12050. The markets, marked by low volumes, moved in a tight range of about 100 points. It is just a matter of a few days when the index will either get past 12050 to achieve 12300 or break 11650 and achieve 11450."
On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by 4 paise to settle at 73.54 per US dollar, as sustained foreign fund inflows strengthened investor sentiments.