Domestic equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty started Friday’s session on a negative note tracking global markets, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s press conference due at 10 am. The S&P BSE Sensex index declined 0.85 per cent – or by 262.36 points – to hit 30,670.54 at the weakest level in early deals, having started the session down 110.12 points at 30,822.78. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slipped to as low as 9,018.65, after opening lower at 9,067.90 compared to its previous close of 9,106.25. Losses in financial, metal and automobile stocks pulled the markets lower; however, gains in IT shares arrested the fall.
The markets however recovered most of early losses amid choppy trade in the first few minutes of the session. At 9:28 am, the Sensex traded 36.28 points (0.12 per cent) lower at 30,896.62 while the Nifty was down 31.35 points (0.34 per cent) at 9,074.90.
In stock-specific news, Reliance Industries is again in the news after US private equity giant KKR & Co. bought a 2.32 per cent stake in the digital unit Reliance Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore. This is the fifth deal struck by Reliance Industries in four weeks for sale of minority stake in Reliance Jio.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will hold a press conference at 10 am today.
Equities elsewhere in Asia suffered sharp losses amid tensions between the US and China. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading down 2.42 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei 225, China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI indices were down 0.83 per cent, 1.31 per cent, 4.50 per cent and 1.54 per cent respectively.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 0.60 per cent lower at the time, indicating a negative opening for the US markets on Friday.
Overnight in the US, Wall Street ended lower on Thursday receding from two-month highs registered on the previous day amid a fresh wave of China-US tensions that raised doubts about the trade deal reached this year between the world’s two largest economies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.41 per cent, S&P 500 lost 0.78 per cent and Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.97 per cent.
Crude oil prices rose on Friday, heading for a fourth straight week of gains, amid more evidence that fuel demand is recovering as countries ease business and social restrictions that were imposed to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude – the global benchmark for crude oil – was last seen trading up 0.4 per cent at $36.20 per barrel, after gaining nearly 1 per cent on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Sensex had ended 114.29 points or 0.37 per cent higher at 30,932.90 and the Nifty closed at 9,100.70, up 34.15 points or 0.38 per cent from its previous close, as the markets extended gains to the third session in a row.