The Indian benchmark equity indices - Sensex and Nifty - ended lower on Wednesday, tracking weak cues from global markets. Investors resorted to profit booking, while caution prevailed in the market ahead of US Federal Reserve's policy outcome.
The BSE Sensex settled 421 points lower at 38,071 and Nifty lost 97 points to close at 11,202. In the previous session, Sensex had gained 588 points to close at 38,492 and Nifty rose 168 points to 11,300.
Among the index heavyweights, Reliance Industries was the top losers, falling over 4 per cent, followed by Maruti, M&M, HDFC Bank, Nestle India, HCL Tech and Tech Mahindra. On the flip side, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance, L&T and SBI were among top gainers.
On the sectoral front, the trend was a mixed bag today. Gains in pharma, PSU Banks, metal and FMCG were capped by losses in IT, auto and financial space.
"Indian indices gave up gains and closed in the negative with profit booking seen in the recent outperformer RIL. Global markets were generally undecided ahead of the US Fed Reserve meeting and mixed earnings reports in addition to rising virus cases forcing economies to reconsider restrictions to contain the spread," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
"Stock specific action was also visible, post earnings results, and this trend is expected to continue. Adequate liquidity in the market should ensure that these corrections are bought into," he added.
Also Read: Sensex falls 421 points, Nifty ends at 11,202; auto stocks lead losses
Here's what you need to know before share market opens on July 30.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) will announce its June quarter earnings on July 30, 2020. Mortgage lender HDFC (Housing Development Finance Corporation) along with other listed companies will also release their earnings report on Wednesday. The June quarter earnings reports will provide a clear picture of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.
Unlock 3.0 guidelines
Traders will react to 'Unlock 3' guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday, under which gymnasiums and yoga institutes will be reopened from August 5. However, schools, cinemas, metro trains will to remain closed till August 31. The government has removed restrictions on movement of individuals during night (night curfew). However, these relaxations will not apply to containment zones which will continue to have strict restrictions till August 31, 2020. Within the containment zones, only essential activities are allowed.
Progress of COVID-19 vaccine
According to the latest update on the coronavirus vaccine, Russia is planning to roll out its COVID-19 vaccine for public use by August 10-12. The drug being developed at Moscow's Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund may be approved for widespread use within three to seven days of registration by drug regulators, as per a Bloomberg report.
Meanwhile, Britain has inked a deal for up to 60 million doses of a possible COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, its fourth such arrangement as the race to tame the pandemic heats up.
Also Read: Coronavirus: Britain secures 60 million doses of Sanofi, GSK vaccine
Among others, US-based Moderna's vaccine candidate has been found to produce encouraging results in a trial that inoculated 16 monkeys.
In India, at least seven companies, including Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Indian Immunologicals, Nynvax, Panacea Biotec, and Biological E, are working on the COVID-19 vaccine. While Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has successfully begun human trials on its vaccine candidate 'Covaxin', Zydus Cadila has started clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D.
COVID-19 cases are constantly rising in the country which is forcing economies to reconsider restrictions to contain the spread. India reported 48,513 fresh cases and 768 deaths in the last 24 hours till 8 am on Wednesday, data released by the Health Ministry showed. With this, India's total tally crossed 15 lakh mark to 15,31,669, with 9,88,029 recoveries and 5,09,447 active cases. The death toll climbed to 34,193. Since July 2, India added more than 9 lakh new cases of coronavirus infection. This is the seventh consecutive day when COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 45,000.
Also Read: Coronavirus update: India's COVID-19 tally surges to 15.31 lakh; recoveries near 10 lakh
Cues from global stocks
Globally, markets in the Unites States were trading higher as investors awaited cues on the Federal Reserve's policy announcements and major earnings reports to be released this week. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on mixed note, while Asian markets, barring Japan, ended higher.
Multiplex stocks to remain in focus
Shares of multiplex operators, PVR and Inox Leisure, will remain in focus as the government on Wednesday announced that cinema halls and multiplexes will remain closed till August 31 under the Unlock 3.0 guidelines.
Stock specific movements
Shares of Bharti Airtel will remain in focus after the telecom operator reported first quarter earnings report post market hours on Wednesday. The telco reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 15,933 crore in the April-June quarter, hit by a massive Rs 11,746 crore charge, primarily for incremental provision and interest related to Supreme Court's order on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) definition last year.
Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has closed full financial year 2019-20 with net loss of Rs 935 crore as compared to net loss of Rs 316 crore in the previous fiscal, impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes. For the January-March quarter of FY20, the carrier reported a net loss of Rs 807.1 crore as against net profit of Rs 56.28 corre in Q4 FY19 on weak demand and suspension of flight operations due to coronavirus outbreak.
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