Sensex drops over 300 pts in early trade

Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 300 points in early trade on Friday dragged by losses in HDFC Bank, Infosys, TCS and Reliance Industries amid weak cues from global markets.

After touching a low of 31,823.80 in opening session, the 30-share index was trading 312.34 points or 0.97 per cent down at 31,888.25.

Similarly, NSE Nifty fell 95.75 points or 1.01 per cent to 9,394.35.

Axis Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, rising around 3 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Tata Steel, Infosys, HDFC twins and ICICI Bank.

On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, ITC, Sun Pharma, Asian Paints and L&T were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer rallied 595.37 points or 1.88 per cent to finish at 32,200.59, and the broader Nifty climbed 175.15 points or 1.88 per cent to 9,490.10.

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors bought equities worth Rs 2,354.14 crore in the capital market on Thursday, provisional exchange data showed.

Domestic investor sentiment turned weak ahead of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers, scheduled for release later in the day, traders said.

Experts believe that the rate of growth for the last quarter may still be in the lower single digit, while the numbers for the current quarter may reflect the actual distress in the economy.

Further, investors continue to remain cautious as COVID-19 cases as India registered biggest single-day spike of 7,466 cases.

The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 1.65 lakh and the death toll climbed to 4,706, as per health ministry data.

Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 58.10 lakh and the deceased tally stood around 3.60 lakh.

Meanwhile, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with gains, while those in Shanghai were flat.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a negative note in overnight trade.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 1.08 per cent lower at USD 35.64 per barrel.

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