Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

Domestic equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended flat on Friday as muted cues from global markets and spiking COVID-19 cases in the country kept investors on the edge.

After touching a low of 37,787.38 during the day, the BSE Sensex settled just 15.12 points or 0.04 per cent higher at 38,040.57.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 13.90 points or 0.12 per cent to finish at 11,214.05.

Asian Paints was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting over 4 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank and Maruti.

On the other hand, Titan, HCL Tech, Infosys, Sun Pharma and M&M were among the laggards.

According to traders, market sentiment turned choppy tracking weak cues from global indices amid reports that the Trump administration was considering a proposal to crackdown on Chinese companies listed in the US.

Spiking COVID-19 cases too kept investors jittery, they said.

Registering over 60,000 cases in 24 hours for the first time, India's COVID-19 tally galloped past 20 lakh on Friday.

The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed 1.9 crore.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo ended in the red, while Seoul finished with gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a negative note in early deals.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.86 per cent lower at USD 44.70 per barrel.

Global shares were mostly lower on Friday in lackluster trading, as trade tensions between the US and China overshadowed optimism about more fiscal stimulus for the ailing US economy.

Investors were also awaiting a US report on jobs later Friday for another gauge of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. US shares have been rising as investors wait for Congress and the White House to reach a hoped-for deal on more aid for the American economy.

France's CAC slipped 0.2% in early trading to 4,873.55, while Germany's DAX edged up nearly 0.2% to 12,611.50. Britain's FTSE 100 inched down less than 0.1% to 6,025.79.

US shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.4% at 27,116. S&P 500 futures were also lower, down 0.4%, at 3,331.62.

Asian benchmarks appeared to be still steeped in worries about the growing number of coronavirus cases in some areas, and the painful impact of lockdowns, especially in Southeast Asia.

"The hope is for a smooth recovery as lockdowns ease, but the fear is that global 'second wave' risks and rising US-China tensions may throw a spanner at ... recovery in the works," said Hayaki Narita at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4% to finish at 22,329.94, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 0.6% to 6,004.80. South Korea's Kospi edged 0.4% higher to 2,351.67. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 1.6% to 24,531.62, while the Shanghai Composite lost 1.0% to 3,354.04.

Chinese technology shares were shaken by President Donald Trump's decision to issue executive orders banning the popular messaging app WeChat and short video app TikTok from the U.S. Shares in Tencent Holdings, owner of WeChat, plunged 10% but ended the day 5% lower.

Benchmark US crude oil dropped 14 cents to $41.81 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slipped 24 cents to settle at $41.95 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 13 cents to $44.96 a barrel.

The US dollar inched up to 105.61 Japanese yen from 105.53 yen. The euro fell to $1.1832 from $1.1877.

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