Benchmarks indices continued trading with steep losses in afternoon trade. The Nifty regained 10,900 mark after briefly slipping below that level. The trading was volatile due to the expiry of September futures & options contracts today.
At 13:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 669.14 points or 1.78% at 36,999.28. The Nifty 50 index slumped 192.2 points or 1.73% at 10,939.95.
Global investors' sentiment took a hit after US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told the media on Wednesday that the U.S. economy remains in a deep hole of joblessness and weak demand, and called for more fiscal stimulus. Clarida added that the central bank will not raise interest rates until it sees 2% inflation for at least a few months and full employment is reached.
Meanwhile, rising COVID-19 infections in Europe and uncertainties over U.S. presidential elections also worried investors.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 1.5% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index slipped 1.75%.
Sellers outnumbered buyers. On the BSE, 524 shares rose and 1968 shares fell. A total of 135 shares were unchanged.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 3,912.44 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net buyers to the tune of Rs 1,629.23 crore in the Indian equity market on 23 September, provisional data showed.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 31,870,904 with 976,311 deaths. India reported 966,382 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 91,149 deaths, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Gainers & Losers:
Bharti Infratel (up 3.71%) and HUL (up 0.39%) were the only gainers in Nifty 50 pack.
Mahindra & Mahindra (down 5.39%), TCS (down 4.99%), Tata Motors (down 4.91%), Bajaj Finance (down 4.84%) and Tata Steel (down 3.85%) were major Nifty losers.
Stocks in Spotlight:
HDFC fell 1.46%. The housing finance major on Wednesday said it will raise up to Rs 5,000 crore by issuing bonds on a private placement basis.
Zydus Wellness rose 2.76% after it launched its qualified institutional placement (QIP) on Wednesday and set the floor price at Rs 1,775.85 per equity share for the issue. The pharmaceutical company's finance and administration committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, 28 September 2020, to consider and approve the issue price of the equity shares to be allotted to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to the QIP issue.
ONGC slipped 1.11% after a massive fire broke out at the company's plant in Surat (Gujarat) in the early hours on Thursday. "A fire was observed in the Hazira Gas processing plant in the morning today. Fire has been brought under control. There is no casualty or injury to any person," ONGC said in a tweet. "Fire at Hazira Plant has been completely extinguished. Efforts are being made to resume normal operations at the earliest," it added.
IIFL Securities declined 2.5%. The company said it has agreed to acquire an additional 6.25% stake in Trendlyne from one of the existing investor. Post-acquisition, IIFL Securities shall hold 20.55% of the share capital of Trendlyne on fully diluted basis, it added. Pursuant to this Giskard Datatech (Trendlyne) shall become an associate of the company.
Ircon International shed 1.24%. The company said that it has secured works of total 9 Road Over Bridges (ROBs) valuing more than Rs 400 crore from Ministry of Railways, Government of India. The scope of work is to provide project management consultancy (PMC) services for construction of ROBs in lieu of existing Level Crossings. The period of completion is 24 months from the date of signing of MoU with Zonal Railways, the company said. The work has been awarded by the Ministry of Railways through a competitive bidding among PSUs, it added.
Havells India slipped 0.19% at Rs 672.90. The company said it launched 25 new models of direct cool, frost free and side by side refrigerators. It plans to launch additional 25 models of refrigerators and a new range of dishwashers by Diwali 2020.
European markets opened lower while Asian markets declined on Thursday as investors' hopes for economic recovery falters amid a second wave of coronavirus cases.
The U.K. reported 6,178 cases, up by 1,252 since Tuesday, as the country grapples with a Covid-19 surge
South Korea's Kospi dropped 2.59% after tensions on the Korean Peninsula resurfaced. A South Korean official has been shot dead and burned by North Korean troops, said the South's defence ministry which condemned the "brutal act".
The US stock market finished volatile session steep lower on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, as risk-off selling triggered after data showing a cooling of U.S. business activity and Federal Reserve officials highlighted the need for Congress to agree on a new round of stimulus to support the economic recovery.
Investors were disappointed that Washington lawmakers haven't reached an agreement on more stimulus and uneasy over speculation that the US presidential election could drag on due to slow vote counts or legal challenges.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the central bank was not planning any "major" changes to its Main Street Lending Program, while saying that both the Fed and Congress need to "stay with it" in working to bolster the economic recovery.
US composite business activity index slipped to 54.4 in September from 54.6 in the previous month, IHS Markit said Wednesday. The flash services purchasing managers index inched down to 54.6 from 55 in August. The flash manufacturing index rose to 53.5 in September from 53.1 in the prior month. This is a 20-month high. Any reading above the 50 neutral mark indicates improving conditions.