Equity indices dip on COVID worries, banking stocks suffer

Equity benchmark indices were on a downswing during early hours on Monday amid worries over rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases in the country.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 1,046 points or 2.09 per cent at 49,984 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 249 points or 1.67 per cent to 14,618.

Except for Nifty IT which jumped by 1.8 per cent, all other sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty private bank down by 2 per cent, PSU bank and financial service by 1.9 per cent each, realty by 1.4 per cent and auto by 0.8 per cent.

Among stocks, IndusInd Bank lost by 3.6 per cent to Rs 962.05 per share while Axis Bank was down by 2.4 per cent and ICICI Bank by 2.2 per cent.

State Bank of India fell by 2.3 per cent, Bajaj Finance by 3.6 per cent and Bajaj Finserv by 2 per cent. Home loan lender dropped by 2.3 per cent to Rs 2,472.90 per unit.

However, IT software major Infosys was up by 2.5 per cent, Wipro by 2.2 per cent and HCL Technologies by 2 per cent. Wipro, Britannia, JSW Steel and Cipla too traded with a positive bias.

Meanwhile, Asian stock prices rose to a one-and-a-half month high after data showing a surge in US employment while US bonds came under pressure on worries the Federal Reserve may bump up interest rates sooner than it has indicated.

Japan’s Nikkei rose by 0.8 per cent while MSCI’s broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan was almost flat.

The US labour department said on Friday that non-farm payrolls surged by 916,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain since last August.

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