Indian equity benchmarks opened lower on the first day of the new derivatives series amid the extension of lockdown-like curbs in some states and as exit polls indicated the nation’s ruling political party is trailing in key state elections.
The S&P BSE Sensex declined as much as 0.6% to 49,465.40 while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped as much as 0.5% to 14,825.10. Both the indices are on track to register their biggest weekly gain since Feb. 7.
The HDFC twins, along with Hero MotoCorp Ltd and Titan Company Ltd., were the biggest drag on the Nifty.
Ten of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. fell, led by a gauge of lenders. The market breadth was skewed in favour of the bulls. About 1,225 stocks advanced, 926 declined and 103 remained unchanged in early morning trade.
India reported 3,86,452 new infections and 3,498 deaths on Friday The country has confirmed 18.7 million Covid-19 cases in total and over 2,08,330 deaths. The resurgence of the virus has forced a number of countries including Australia to ban flights from India, while the U.S. government has asked its citizens to leave as soon as possible.