Nifty, Sensex end three days of gains in light of Covid cases, fears of prolonged slowdown

Global shares too came under pressure after the US Federal Reserve minutes showed policymakers remained doubtful about a swift rebound in recovery in the world's largest economy.

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[REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE] File photo of the Bombay Stock Exchange
[REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE] File photo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (Photo Credits: PTI)

Indian shares snapped three sessions of gains on Thursday on worries of a prolonged economic slowdown as the coronavirus pandemic grips rural areas of the country.

India has the third-highest coronavirus cases globally and government officials as well as analysts said the flattening of the virus curve is crucial to economic revival.

Domestic coronavirus cases rose, with a record daily jump of 69,652 infections on Thursday morning, taking the total infections to 2.84 million and deaths to 53,866, data from the federal health ministry showed.

Global shares too came under pressure after the US Federal Reserve minutes showed policymakers remained doubtful about a swift rebound in recovery in the world's largest economy.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index .NSEI closed down 0.84 per cent at 11,312.20 and the S&P BSE Sensex .BSESN settled 1.02 per cent lower at 38,220.39.

Asian and European markets slipped and the MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was down 0.6 per cent.

"It is a knee-jerk reaction to news coming out of the United States. Everyone knows the economy is in a bad state but times like this allow for a price correction in a market where valuations are high," said Umesh Mehta, head of research at Samco Securities, Mumbai.

In Mumbai trading, financial stocks lost the most, with the Nifty Financials index .NIFTYFIN and Nifty private bank index .NIFPVTBNK closing down 1.31 per cent each.

Private sector lenders HDFC Bank Ltd (HDBK.NS) and Axis Bank Ltd (AXBK.NS) settled over 2 per cent lower and were among the top losers.

Carmaker Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS) fell 2.64 per cent and was the top loser on the Nifty 50 index.

Bucking the trend, state-run firms advanced with the Nifty public sector enterprise index .NIFTYPSE rising 2.63 per cent, helped by a 13 per cent jump in hydropower generator NHPC Ltd.

Aarti Drugs Ltd (ADRG.NS) surged 20 per cent after the firm approved an issue of bonus shares in a 3-to-1 ratio.

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