Bombay Stock Exchange
Bombay Stock Exchange

The stock markets opened flat on Thursday (May 20). The Sensex regained 50,000 on the opening bell on Thursday and the Nifty 50 index was above 15,050.

Titan, Larsen & Toubro, ICICI Bank, and Infosys were among the top gainers. Axis Bank, Sun Pharma and ONGC were the top losers in the opening session.

At 9.08 AM, the Sensex was below 50,000 during the pre-open session. Nifty was at 15,042. At 09:02 IST, the Sensex was up 196.64 points or 0.39% at 50099.28, and the Nifty was down 21.70 points or 0.14% at 15008.50.

In the previous session, Sensex ended 290.69 points or 0.58 per cent lower at 49,902.64, and Nifty fell 77.95 points or 0.52 per cent to close at 15,030.15.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 697.75 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional exchange data.

Domestic equities look to be flat for the day, said Binod Modi Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities to PTI.

According to him, a visible decline in daily caseload has offered comfort to investors, which indicates that earlier assumption of daily caseload in second wave peaking-out by the end of May or mid of June holds true and adverse impact of second wave should not be felt beyond 1QFY22.

"Investors will continue to focus on the trajectory of daily caseload and vaccination ramp-up in the country in the near term," he said.

In the US, equities corrected for the third consecutive day as the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes showed debate emerging within the Federal Reserve over rising inflation.

While FOMC had voted unanimously to maintain accommodative policy in April, minutes showed that some members were open at the possibility of discussion around when to taper $120 billion monthly bond buying, he noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals, while Nikkei was trading in the positive terrain.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.15 per cent higher at $66.76 per barrel.

Asian shares mixed

Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday after benchmarks closed broadly lower on Wall Street in a third day of retreat.

The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies declined further. Stocks rose in Tokyo and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai, PTI said.

Japan's government reported that exports rose 38 percent in April from a year earlier while imports climbed nearly 13 percent, indicating a recovery in overseas demand even as the country weathers its worst bout of coronavirus outbreaks so far.

Exports to the US rose 45 percent while those to China jumped nearly 34 percent in a strong rebound after last year's shocks from lockdowns and other precautions taken to curb the pandemic.

The Nikkei 225 regained lost ground, edging 0.2 percent higher to 28,067.53, while Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 surged 0.9 percent to 6,993.90.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng skidded 0.7 percent to 28,381.13 while Seoul's Kospi declined 0.5 percent to 3,157.70. Shares rose in Singapore and Jakarta but fell in Taiwan.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.3 percent to 4,115.68 after recovering from a 1.6 percent slide earlier in the day. The benchmark index is on track for its second weekly loss in a row.

Bank stock decline

Bank stocks were among the biggest decliners. Goldman Sachs fell 1.7 percent and Wells Fargo lost 1.5 percent. Retailers and other companies that rely directly on consumer spending also pulled the market lower. Home Depot slid 0.7 percent, Gap fell 3 percent and L Brands dropped 3.1 percent.

Energy sector stocks, the biggest gainers so far this year, bore the heaviest losses as the price of US crude oil skidded 3.5 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 per cent to 33,896.04. The Nasdaq fared better than the rest of the market, shedding less than 0.1 per cent, to 13,299.74.

Smaller company stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 index lost 0.8 percent, to 2,193.64.

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