Markets snap 6-day winning run as bulls take a breather; bank, finance stocks tank

Markets snap 6-day winning run as bulls take a breather; bank, finance stocks tank
A man reacts as he looks at a screen displaying the Sensex results on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai. File Photo: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Mumbai: Benchmark equity indices closed in the red on Thursday as investors pocketed gains after a six-session rally amid lacklustre global cues.

Banking and finance stocks led the decline, while a depreciating rupee also weighed on sentiment, traders said.

After swinging 599 points during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 128.84 points or 0.38 per cent lower at 33,980.70.

Likewise, the NSE Nifty slipped 32.45 points or 0.32 per cent to close at 10,029.10.

Asian Paints was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, falling 4.85 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The gainers included Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and PowerGrid, which climbed up to 5.34 per cent.

Banking stocks came under pressure after the Supreme Court sought the finance ministry's reply on a petition seeking waiver of interest on loans during the moratorium period. The RBI has told the apex court that it would not be prudent to go for a "forced waiver of interest" risking financial viability of the banks.

"The rapid rally in world markets fed by bets on a speedy global economic recovery finally halted on Thursday, as traders waited to hear how much more stimulus the European Central Bank plans to shovel out to address the coronavirus slump.

"After weeks of sharp gains for stocks, oil and currencies, investors were looking to lock in some profit," said Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

BSE bankex, finance, capital goods, realty, consumer durables and industrials indices shed up to 2.70 per cent, while telecom, teck, IT, energy and healthcare closed with gains of up to 3.47 per cent.

Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices slipped up to 0.06 per cent.

Global markets were largely in wait-and-watch mode ahead of ECB's policy decision.

Bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo settled in the red, while Shanghai ended with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe began on a negative note.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.21 per cent to $39.31 per barrel.

The rupee depreciated 10 paise to provisionally close at 75.57 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases around the world crossed 64.32 lakh and the death toll has topped 3.85 lakh.

In India, the death toll rose to 6,075 and the number of infections stood at 2,16,919, according to the health ministry.

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