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Representational Image

The markets see-sawed between highs and lows throughout the trading session. The benchmark Sensex fell 202 points to 47,878 tracking losses in ICICI Bank, Infosys and HUL amid persistent concerns over the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

After a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index ended 202.22 points or 0.42 percent lower at 47,878.45. M&M was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 percent, followed by Dr Reddy’s Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra, HUL, ICICI Bank and Infosys. PowerGrid, NTPC, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC and Asian Paints were among the gainers.

The broader NSE Nifty dropped 64.80 points or 0.45 percent to 14,341.35. Nifty Bank fell 60 points to 31,722. Around 33 Nifty stocks closed in the red.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 64.80 points or 0.45 per cent to 14,341.35.

M&M was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 2 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy’s Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra, HUL, ICICI Bank and Infosys.

Hemant Kanawala, Head – Equity, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd., said the focus of the investors and nation has shifted to sudden rise in COVID cases.

India added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day, taking the country''s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Frida

Kanawala said, the central government has has said they don’t intend to announce a national lockdown to control the COVID infection and has also advised State governments to use lockdown as a last measure"However, many states have announced varied degrees of restriction on movement of people depending on the severity of the situation in their region. This is expected to impact the economy in this quarter and there have been downgrades to India’s growth in FY22 by up to 1 percent," Kanawala said.

Sumeet Bagadia, Executive Director, Choice Broking, said though the Central government has relaxed norms for vaccination by allowing vaccination for all above the age of 18 from 1 May and increased the supply of vaccines by permitting import and providing financial aid to local manufacturers, the pace of vaccination will be crucial for quicker normalisation of economic activity. “The corporate have started announcing results for the March quarter and there are no major disappointments so far. Consensus is expecting sharp increase in net profit due to the COVID-led disruption in the base quarter. It will be important to observe comments of banking and domestic consumer oriented companies about impact of recent surge in COVID infection on their business. Nifty is trading at 21 times one year forward EPS, which is close to all-time high. Hence upside from valuation rerating is limited and one needs to watch if there are any earnings downgrade due to emerging COVID situation, “ he said.

Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan and Co, said the market reacted with pharma companies and oxygen manufacturers getting the edge in light of recent approvals and announcements. "It is expected that the market will consolidate in the days to come and investors must keep an eye on their dream stocks for entry at the right time”.

Markets this week

Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President (Equity Technical Research), Kotak Securities reviewing the stock market's performance this week said, the last week has been volatile for traders. After a 375/ 1274 points volatility the benchmark index Nifty/ Sensex shed nearly 2 percent. This week the market witnessed non directional activity. Among sectors, PSU Banks, Reality and FMCG indices shed over 3 percent whereas strong buying was seen in selective Media, Metal and Pharma stocks. Meanwhile, Bank Nifty recovered sharply from 30405.65 level, which is positive for the banking stocks. A sharp pullback rally is not ruled out if the Bank-Nifty succeeds to trade above 30,800, he said.

"Technically, on daily and weekly charts the index has formed lower top formation, and the non-directional intraday activity clearly indicates indecisiveness between bulls and bears which will continue in the short run. The short term texture of the Nifty/ Sensex is still bearish and likely to continue in the near future. We are of the view that, 14,250/ 47,450 would be the immediate support level for the bulls below the same we can expect one more leg of correction up to 14,150/47,1150. Furthe, downside may also be possible which could drag the index till 14000-13900/46500-46,000. On the flip side, 14,500/ 48300 would be the immediate hurdle for the Nifty/ Sensex, above the same uptrend structure will continue up to 14700/49100. Ahead of monthly F&O expiry, the sectors which would be in focus are banking, metal and pharma," Chouhan said.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo was in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with losses in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.06 per cent lower at $65.36 per barrel

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