Indices fall for second straight session as investors stay in risk-off mode

The equity benchmarks nursed losses for the second straight session on Thursday as investors offloaded banking, finance, and infra stocks amid expiry of monthly derivative contracts and lacklustre global cues.

A depreciating rupee and weak from blue-chips further sapped risk appetite, traders said.

The Sensex ended 172.61 points, or 0.43 per cent lower, at 39,749.85 in choppy trade.

On similar lines, the broader Nifty fell 58.80 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 11,670.8.

L&T was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping 4.99 per cent, after it posted a 45 per cent decline in consolidated net profit for the September quarter.

Titan, ONGC, Axis Bank, HUL, NTPC , M&M and HDFC were the other major laggards, shedding up to 3.32 per cent.

On the other hand, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, HCL Tech, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries were among the gainers, spurting up to 2.79 per cent.

Asian mirrored a weak trend on Wall Street, with both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 logging their biggest single-day falls since June as investors fretted over a second wave of coronavirus cases.

France announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the rising Covid-19 cases, while Germany also imposed restrictions on economic activities.

According to traders, domestic market volatility was further heightened as October futures and options (F&O) contracts expired.

“As expected, the Indian stock market has turned its focus from Q2 result-driven rally to international developments as the global market is worsening. across the world are volatile because of rising corona cases impacting the recovery of economy and ambiguities over the US election and stimulus package. Additionally, today, Indian indices ended weak following October monthly F&O expiry.

“This weakness can stay for the short-term, a reversal can happen as strong fiscal and monetary stimulus is expected from governments and central banks in the world to overcome the crisis,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE capital goods, consumer durables, industrials, FMCG, auto, and healthcare indices fell as much as 2.14 per cent, while energy, basic materials, IT, oil and gas, and teck ticked higher.

Asian equities remain resilient amid sell-off

Asian equities are more resilient in the global sell-off, reaping the gains of economic reopening and a slowdown in Covid-19 infections, even as peers in the US and Europe grapple with a worsening outbreak. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost a modest 0.5 per cent on Thursday morning after a 3.5 per cent slump in the S&P 500 overnight. This month so far, the Asia Pacific gauge has outdone the US index by about five percentage points, the most since May 2009, as investors in America deal with the added uncertainty surrounding the election. The regional measure has also beaten the MSCI All Country World Index by about 4 percentage points.Bloomberg

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