The Indian equity benchmarks came off intraday low levels and erased gains in the last hour of trade on the back of buying interest in metal, banking, auto and pharma shares. The benchmarks staged a gap down opening wherein the Sensex fell as much as 754 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 14,416. Growing calls, including from an industry body, to impose curbs at the national level to rein in the COVID-19 spread dampened investor sentiment, analysts said.
As of 2:42 pm, the Sensex was down 5 points at 48,777 and Nifty 50 index advanced 19 points to 14,651.
A leading industry body on Sunday urged authorities to take the “strongest national steps” and to curtail economic activity to save lives, as the coronavirus continued to sweep the nation and overwhelm its healthcare systems.
Six of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index’s over 1 per cent decline. Nifty Bank, Media, PSU Bank and Realty indexes also fell between 0.5-1 per cent.
On the other hand, Nifty Metal, Auto FMCG and Pharma indices were up between 0.6-2 per cent.
Adani Ports was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 4 per cent to Rs 759. Tata Steel, SBI Life, Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, UPL and Asian Paints also rose between 1.7-3 per cent.
On the flipside, Titan, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank and BPCL were among the losers.
(With inputs from Reuters)