Benchmarks Sensex and Nifty closed bearish on Friday, in line with global peers that fell into the red territory after reports that raised doubts over the treatment for coronavirus.
In line with the weak global trend, Sensex ended 535 points or 1.68% lower at 31,327 and Nifty closed 159 points or 1.71% lower at 9,154.
While Britannia Industries was the top gainer rising 3.51% on NSE, Bharti Infratel was among the top losers by the day's end, falling 7.98%, as companies reported their March quarter earnings. Mindtree also ended 1.41% higher ahead of its Q4 earnings.
Sector-wise, except pharma and energy, all other indices closed in red, with realty, financials and banking sectors dropping almost 4%.
Financial stocks contributed to more than half the losses on index with Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC, M&M Financial Services, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance ranking among the top losers on both BSE and NSE.
Banking and NBFC stocks witnessed high selling pressure today after one of country's oldest asset management companies (AMC) Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund voluntarily decided to close its six debt schemes effective from April 23, 2020. The AMC cited redemption pressure for shutting of schemes amid the coronavirus crisis drying up liquidity in the Indian financial system.
S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities said,"Market shaved off today as winding up of a few debt schemes by a large fund house in India added to the selling pressure witnessed in Banks and NBFC stocks. Reliance and a few pharma names were the only saving grace in today's trade".
Markets globally were trading in the negative on Thursday on reports that raised doubts over the treatment for coronavirus. The first full trial of potential Coronavirus vaccine of antiviral medication Remdesivir failed to show any effects.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "Indian indices fell by over 1.5%, in sync with global markets and tracking increasingly weak economic data from countries around the world and especially in the US."
He added," There was also uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of a vaccine that was in development, which contributed to the overall negativity. Markets are expected to remain volatile considering the rising number of cases in India and no positive signals from the ongoing earnings season."
Earlier, market indices erased from losses as investors were upbeat anticipating financial relief package from the Prime Minister-Finance Minister meet. Although, later the meeting was postponed to Monday.
By the afternoon session, European indices also opened lower on Friday, with FTSE, CAC and DAX declining over 1% each, further pushing domestic equities into red territory.
Yesterday, US markets gained initially but closed flat after reports suggested that Gilead's drug Remdesivir may not effective against coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings made large cuts to global GDP forecasts and slashed India's economic growth projection to 0.8% in the current 2020-21 fiscal.
Amid weakness in domestic equity markets, Indian rupee, that opened weak at 76.29 per dollar closed 40 paise lower at 76.46 against US dollar.
Yesterday, Sensex had closed 483 points higher at 31,863 and Nifty ended 126 points higher at 9,313. In this week, Sensex and Nifty have declined 0.83% and 1.21%, respectively.