Markets Off Day’s Lows; Pharma Stocks Shine, While Auto, Energy Weak

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The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 685.47 points to 30,474.15 in the first hour of trade, after starting the session up 36.1 points at 31,195.72. The broader NSE Nifty benchmark declined to as low as 8,912.40, having started the session at 9,103.95 near its previous close. Analysts say volatility cannot be ruled out in the near term amid rising cases of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NSE’s India VIX index – a gauge of the expectation of volatility in the near term – was up 3.6 per cent at 51 levels, having risen 5.52 per cent earlier in the session. The VIX has been hovering around the 50 level since the past week after having soared to 87 in March, which probably suggests a period of consolidation for the markets at current levels.

The government will release data on consumer inflation for the month of March after market hours. More than 40 economists in an April 7-8 poll by news agency Reuters expect retail inflation to come in at a four-month of 5.93 per cent in March.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tracks consumer inflation primarily to formulate its monetary policy. Last month, it lowered the repo rate – the key interest rate – by 75 basis points, and has taken steps to shore up liquidity in line with most major central banks around the world. Softer inflation would give the RBI reason to cut borrowing costs further but some economists do not expect that to be the driver of policy for now.

The domestic financial markets will remain closed on Tuesday for Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti.

Pharma stocks continued to attract investor attention. Glenmark Pharma galloped 14 per cent to Rs 284, while Aurobindo Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, Lupin and Cadila gained 2-7 per cent each.

Auto space was having a weak session, with M&M, Maruti Suzuki and MRF losing around 3 per cent each. The energy space was trading weak on the NSE. Reliance Industries lost 2 per cent to Rs 1195 and ONGC shed 3 per cent to Rs 74.

And HDFC declined more than 1 per cent after rising as much as 3.5 per cent in early trade. The mortgage lender has been in the news after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) increased its stake in the March quarter to 1.01 per cent from 0.8 per cent, as per a regulatory filing by the mortgage lender on Saturday.

Source By NDTV

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