Domestic stock market ended with heavy losses on Wednesday, sliding for the fourth straight session amid a broader selloff. The Nifty managed to close above the 14,700 mark after hitting the day's low of 14,696.05 in late trade. All the sectoral indices on the NSE ended in the red.
The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, tumbled 562.34 points or 1.12% at 49,801.62. The Nifty 50 index lost 189.15 points or 1.27% at 14,721.30.
Investors were cautious ahead of the outcome of U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, which will conclude later in the day. A combination of increasing domestic COVID-19 cases, high crude oil prices and rising US bond yields hurt investors' sentiment. The yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note hovered at 1.66%.
Reliance Industries (down 2.16%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 1.85%) and HDFC Bank (down 1.13%) were major drags. ITC (up 1.2%), Infosys (up 0.21%) and TCS (up 0.13%) supported the indices.
The broader market tumbled. The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 2.28% and the BSE Small-Cap index lost 2.12%.
There were more sellers than buyers. On the BSE, 837 shares rose and 2,148 shares fell. A total of 140 shares were unchanged.
The Sensex declined 2.88% and the Nifty corrected 2.99% in the four consecutive sessions.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 12,06,56,989 with 26,70,056 deaths. India reported 2,34,406 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,59,044 deaths while 1,10,45,284 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The media reported that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a high number of daily new COVID-19 cases. They collectively account for 71.10% of the 28,903 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Around 84% of the new cases are from Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Maharashtra alone accounts for 61.8% of the daily new cases with 17,864 cases. It is followed by Kerala with 1,970 while Punjab reported 1,463 new cases.
Numbers to Watch:
The yield on India's 10-year benchmark federal paper rose to 6.189% as compared with 6.180% at close in the previous trading session.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 72.55, compared with its close of 72.5525 during the previous trading session.
MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2021 settlement rose 0.33% to Rs 44,963.
The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, fell 0.03% to 91.84.
In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2021 settlement fell 71 cents at $67.68 a barrel. The contract fell 49 cents, or 0.71% to settle at $68.39 a barrel in the previous trading session.
Most shares in Europe and Asia declined on Wednesday as investors waited for the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting later in the day.
In US, the Dow fell from its record high and snapped a seven-day winning streak on Tuesday ahead the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy announcement.
It is expected that the U.S. central bank may revise upwards its GDP forecast, following a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package that will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans. The Fed will also deliver its decision on interest rates.
Buzzing Indian Segment:
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released the telecom subscription data for January 2021 on Wednesday, 17 March 2021.
Bharti Airtel (down 1.22%) added 58.92 lakh new subscribers in the month of January 2021 and its total subscriber based stood at 34.46 crore. Bharti Airtel had pipped Reliance Jio in new mobile subscriber addition in September 2020, according to data published by telecom regulator TRAI.
Reliance Jio, controlled by Reliance Industries (RIL), added 19.56 lakh new subscribers in the month of January 2021. Jio's total subscriber base stands at 41.07 crore as of January 2021.
Vodafone Idea (down 3.24%) added 17.10 lakh subscribers in January 2021 and its subscriber base rose to 28.59 crore as of January 2021.
Stocks in Spotlight:
State Bank of India (SBI) fell 2.75% after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 2 crore on the bank. The central bank has imposed the penalty for contravention of certain provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and specific directions of RBI issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission.
DLF tumbled 4.14%. The realty major said that a special committee of the board has approved issuing secured, rated, listed, redeemable, non-convertible debentures (NCDs) aggregating upto Rs 500 crore on private placement basis in one of more tranches. The NCDs will bear a coupon rate of 8.25% per annum, the company said in a BSE filing made during market hours today.
ABB Power Products and Systems India declined 2.06%. The company on Wednesday announced that it has been awarded a project worth over Rs 124 crore from Bharat Aluminum Company (BALCO). The scope of work involves improving reliability of the power distribution system at BALCO's Korba plant in Chhattisgarh. ABB Power said it is delivering fully engineered 400-kilovolt gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substations that will replace an existing apparatus to better assimilate power from BALCO's captive generation plants, delivering it with efficiency to the Korba aluminum smelter.
BEML rose 0.09%. The company said it has received export orders from Cameroon and Bangladesh under Government of India-Lines of credit to supply construction equipment. Valuing at around $23 million, this equipment will be having more than 90% indigenous content and will be manufactured at BEML's KGF and Mysore plants in Karnataka.
GMM Pfaudler gained 2.09% after the company announced the acquisition of assets of HDO Technologies for a consideration of Rs 58.46 crore. The company said that it had participated in the e-auction process for sale of assets (factory land, building, plant and machinery, office equipment, computers, furniture and fixtures, vehicles and capital work in progress) owned by HDO Technologies (in liquidation). It was declared as the successful bidder by the liquidator.
Bharat Forge slipped 2.88%. The auto components firm on Tuesday said it intends to undertake electric vehicle (EV) business through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. As an initial step, the company has decided to acquire newly formed group firm Kalyani Powertrain (KPPL), Bharat Forge said in a filing.
Shakti Pumps (India) advanced 2.10% after the company said it bagged a $35.30 million order from the Government of Uganda for supplying solar powered water pumping systems.
BPCL fell 4.83% to Rs 431.90. The board of BPCL on 16 March 2021 declared a second interim dividend of Rs 5 per equity share for the Financial Year 2020-21. The record date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend is Saturday, 27 March 2021.