Sensex down over 173 pts in early trade; financial stocks drag

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex dropped over 173 points in early trade on Friday, dragged by losses in financial stocks amid negative cues from global markets.

After touching a low of 36,526.22 at open, the 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 173.77 points, or 0.47 per cent, lower at 36,563.92. The NSE Nifty was down 39.05 points, or 0.36 per cent, at 10,774.40.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, HDFC, Titan, Axis Bank, M&M, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank.

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On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, SBI, Reliance Industries, HUL, Bajaj Auto and Infosys were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer ended 408.68 points, or 1.12 per cent, higher at 36,737.69, and the Nifty jumped 107.70 points, or 1.01 per cent, to finish at 10,813.45.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Thursday, purchasing equities worth Rs 212.77 crore, provisional exchange data showed.

According to traders, domestic benchmarks followed negative trend in global equities as concerns over fresh spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and its impact on economic recovery weighed on investor sentiment.

The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed 1.22 crore and the death toll has topped 5.54 lakh.

In India, the number of infections spiked to 7.93 lakh and the death toll rose to 21,604.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with significant losses.

US stocks too ended on a tepid note in overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.59 per cent to USD 42.10 per barrel.

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