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Sensex sheds 155 pts; Nifty slips below 14,850

Mumbai:  Sensex dropped 155 points on Friday, tracking losses in index heavyweights ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank amid largely negative cues from global markets.

The 30-share BSE index ended 154.89 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 49,591.32.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 38.95 points or 0.26 per cent to 14,834.85.

Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, HUL, Tech Mahindra and Dr Reddy’s were among the gainers.

“Domestic equities traded range-bound with continued selling pressure from financials. Further, weak cues from Asian markets and concerns of sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the country weighed on sentiments,” said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.

While financials remained a drag, pharma stocks witnessed strong buying due to expectations of improvement in sales volume in the backdrop of spike in new coronavirus cases, he said, adding IT stocks remained in focus ahead of results next week.

He stated that continued sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country and resultant mobility restrictions are expected to weigh on investor sentiment in the near term. Further, recent weakness in the rupee may also aggravate investors’ concerns and adversely impact FPIs flows, he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the red, while Tokyo finished with gains.

Top stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.27 per cent lower at USD 63.03 per barrel.

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