Domestic stock markets fluctuated between gains and losses on Friday, as global equities took a breather amid rising cases of COVID-19. The S&P BSE Sensex index moved within a range of 240 points, between 38,738.22 and 38,978.52, in morning deals, having started the day marginally higher. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark hovered around the 11,450 mark after opening flat at 11,447.80. Losses in financial and energy stocks offset gains in consumer goods and automobile shares.
At 10:02 am, the Sensex traded 3.95 points – or 0.01 per cent – higher at 38,844.27, while the Nifty was up 4.45 points – or 0.04 per cent – at 11,453.70.
Top percentage gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares were Bharti Infratel, Britannia, Titan, HDFC Life and Hindustan Unilever, trading between 0.98 per cent and 3.15 per cent higher.
Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, HCL Tech, Eicher Motors and Axis Bank, trading between 0.84 per cent and 1.96 per cent lower, were the top laggards in the index.
Analysts awaited macroeconomic data to assess any signs of recovery from the damage caused by the COVID-19-triggered restrictions. Official data on industrial production will be released after market hours on Friday, and on consumer inflation in the country on Monday.
Equities in other Asian markets struggled to stem a bearish mood after US technology shares fell overnight, on growing doubts about stimulus in the world’s largest economy and worries about their stretched valuations.
The European Central Bank’s status quo on policy and weak US jobs data claims fuelled concerns that stimulus and high liquidity may not be enough to counter the damage caused by COVID-19 to world economy and business.