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Fresh stimulus fails to cheer investors

Sensex retreats from record peak of 53,126.73 pts as RIL, IT stocks skid; Nifty tests intra-day record of 15,915.65 pts

Buying across the board; Nifty settles above 16K
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Buying across the board; Nifty settles above 16K

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Mumbai: Equity benchmark BSE Sensex reversed early gains to close 189 points lower on Monday, pressured by Reliance Industries (RIL) and IT stocks, as investors gave a lukewarm response to the government's fresh stimulus measures for Covid-hit sectors.

A lacklustre trend in global equities further weighed on sentiment, though robust buying in pharma and metal counters capped the losses, traders said. After touching a life-time high of 53,126.73 points in opening session, the 30-share BSE index ended 189.45 points or 0.36 per cent lower at 52,735.59. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 45.65 points or 0.29 per cent down at 15,814.70. It touched an intra-day record of 15,915.65.

"The market got volatile in the closing hour, ahead and during the FM announcement, though it was focused on the Covid-19 relief package mainly for healthcare and stressed sectors, which will benefit the broad economy," said Vinod Nair, head (research) at Geojit Financial Services.

Titan was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.56 per cent, followed by TCS, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, UltraTech Cement and Bharti Airtel. On the other hand, Dr Reddy's topped the gainers' chart with a leap of 1.75 per cent after the pharma major announced the commercial launch of its Covid-19 treatment drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG). Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma, HUL and PowerGrid were among the other winners, climbing up to 1.64 per cent. To help revival of the economy battered by COVID-19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a slew of measures, including a Rs 1.1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme for improving health infrastructure, and enhancing the limit under the ECLGS by 50 per cent to Rs 4.5 lakh crore for the MSME sector facing a liquidity crunch. "After opening at a record high, the domestic markets slipped into the negative zone tracking cues from global peers due to spike in COVID cases across Asia. PSU Banks were in focus in anticipation of progress in privatisation.

BSE energy, capital goods, teck, IT, telecom, power fell up to 0.80 per cent, while metal, healthcare and basic materials indices mustered solid gains. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmark, rising up to 0.46 per cent. World stocks started the week on the backfoot as rising coronavirus cases across multiple countries dampened risk appetite. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended with losses. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading in the red in mid-session deals. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.16 per cent lower at USD 75.26 per barrel. The rupee inched 1 paisa higher to settle at 74.19 against the US dollar.

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