Sensex extends losses for third day; Asian Paints rallies 6 pc on earnings boost

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Mumbai, Jul 20 (PTI) Equity indices wilted under selling pressure for the third session on the trot on Tuesday as the global market sell-off deepened on renewed concerns over the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Banking and finance stocks were the biggest drags on the benchmarks, while a rebounding rupee and robust buying in select consumption counters capped the losses to some extent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex tumbled 354.89 points or 0.68 per cent to close at 52,198.51. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slumped 120.30 points or 0.76 per cent to 15,632.10.

IndusInd Bank was the biggest laggard among the Sensex components, shedding 3.32 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech, ICICI Bank, M&M and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, Asian Paints topped the gainers' list with a jump of 6.04 per cent after the company reported an over two-fold increase in consolidated Q1 profit at Rs 574.30 crore.

UltraTech Cement, HUL, Nestle India, Maruti and TCS were among the other winners, gaining up to 1.52 per cent.

'Bears dominated D-street following overnight selling in global markets due to spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and fall in economic growth data. Sharp fall in crude price and US bond yields reflected the rising concern over fall in future growth.

'Vulnerability from premium valuations, upcoming FOMC meeting and selling by foreign investors exposed the Indian market. However, western markets attempted to recover from the sell-off which provided some comfort to the domestic market in between but selling continued,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Mathieu Racheter, Head of Equity Strategy Research at Julius Baer, said global equities have experienced a major setback due to factors like surge in the Delta variant across the globe, rising inflation fears potentially leading to earlier-than-anticipated monetary tightening and weak credit growth in China, all of which are putting a dent on global growth expectations.

All BSE sectoral indices ended in the red, with ealty, metal, power, telecom and utilities tumbling up to 2.41 per cent.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices plunged as much as 1.44 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank downgraded India's economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 10 per cent, from 11 per cent projected in April, on account of the adverse impact of the pandemic.

On the global front, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with losses, taking cues from an overnight sell-off on Wall Street. However, equities in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.

The international oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 0.35 per cent to USD 68.86 per barrel.

The Indian rupee reversed early losses to close 27 paise higher at 74.61 against the US dollar amid a weak greenback overseas.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 2,198.71 crore, as per exchange data. PTI ANS ABM ABM

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