Benchmark Sensex and Nifty closed sharply negative on Thursday in line with the global trend as the stimulus package announced by the local government failed to excite the market participants.
Amid heavy sell-off overseas, Sensex closed 885 points lower at 31,122 and Nifty fell 240 points at 9,142.
Traders said investors were concerned over the implementation and the effectiveness of the Rs 20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package and awaited further cues from FM's press conference today.
Globally, markets continued trading in red territory as fears of a second wave of infections overshadowed prospects of re-opening the economy. World Health Organization's warning that the virus "may never go away" also kept investor sentiments on the edge, said experts.
" This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away," said Michael Ryan, the WHO's emergencies director in a press conference in Geneva
Asian and European markets fell in early trade today as investors fretted over fears of a second wave of infections. US markets also closed lower after comments from Fed's Powell, who expects 'significant downside risk' and said that economy needs more booster shots.
Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking said, "Markets witnessed a gap down opening, tracking weak cues from both domestic and global front. The rise in COVID-19 cases and lack of clarity over the impact of stimulus packages were weighing on the sentiment. Besides, weakness in the global markets further dented the sentiment."
In an otherwise weak market, power stocks were rallying today after FM Sitharaman announced the fresh injection of Rs 90,000 crore into discoms, in a move to de-stress them and improve the liquidity for power generation companies.
Adani Power gained 13% intraday, followed by Tata Power that jumped 9.57% and Reliance Infrastructure that gained 5% higher. Shares of Jaiprakash Power Ventures, Reliance Power, K.P. Energy were also gaining in the range of 3-5% today.
On the contrary, IT stocks were dragging the indices lower after the latest forecast by Gartner that predicted global IT spending to drop 8% in 2020 amid COVID-19. Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro were among the top losers on NSE post the news today, dropping in the range of 4-6%.
Stock specific action was also seen in companies that recently announced their earnings. While shares of Escorts, Mphasis Consumer fell 4% and 1.5% post-earnings, shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Maruti gained 2.23% post Q4 earnings. ABB also fell 2.23% intraday post results.
Meanwhile, Biocon, Tata Consumer Products, Indian Energy Exchange, Indiabulls Real Estate, Oracle Financial Services, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Manappuram Finance, Zensar Technologies, Accelya Solutions and AAVAS Financiers will report Q4 results later today.
On the currency front, Rupee closed lower at 75.56 per dollar as against the previous close of 75.47 per US dollar.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said," Investors are still looking for measures to boost the demand and not just inject liquidity, which so far has been the focus from the government. The FM's press conference, later on, will be looked at for more cash in hand measures and the funding details of the package."
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has jumped to 78,003 on Thursday, including 49,219 active cases, 26,234 discharged, 1 migrated, and 2,549 deaths. The country recorded 3,722 new cases and 134 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Globally, there are 44.29 lakh confirmed cases and 2.98 lakh deaths from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of today.