The Indian equity benchmarks snapped their three-day winning streak on Friday dragged down by losses in banking and financial services shares. Rising Covid-19 cases in the country also weighed on investors’ sentiment. The benchmarks opened lower and extended losses in noon deals on the back of selling pressure in heavyweights like ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank and Larsen & Toubro. The Sensex fell as much as 285 points and Nifty 50 index briefly slipped below its important psychological level of 14,800 at the day’s lowest level.
The Sensex ended 155 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 49,591 and Nifty 50 index declined 39 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 14,835.
India reported another record number of new COVID-19 infections on Friday with daily deaths also hitting their highest in more than five months as the country battles a second wave of infections and states complain of a persistent vaccine shortage.
The country reported 131,968 new infections and 780 deaths on Friday – the biggest daily increase since mid-October.
Surging COVID-19 infections have threatened to disrupt a nascent economic recovery in India and dragged its main stock indexes from record highs hit in February. Total cases in the country jumped by another daily record on Friday.