Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex declined over 300 points in early trade on Friday, tracking losses in index majors HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Infosys amid concerns that the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic may derail the economic recovery of the country.
The 30-share BSE index was trading 316.81 points or 0.66 per cent lower at 47,763.86.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty dropped 75.45 points or 0.52 per cent to 14,330.70.
ICICI Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by HDFC twins, Bajaj Finance, HUL, SBI, M&M and Kotak Bank.
On the other hand, PowerGrid, Asian Paints, Titan, HCL Tech, Dr Reddy’s and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
In the previous session, Sensex ended 374.87 points or 0.79 per cent higher at 48,080.67, and Nifty jumped 109.75 points or 0.77 per cent to 14,406.15.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market as they offloaded shares worth Rs 909.56 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data.
“Sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and enhanced mobility restriction imposed by a number of states are expected to remain as key overhangs for the market,” said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.
This has started posing a threat to corporate earnings recovery, he said, adding that the possibility of supply disruption and increased COVID-19 cases in the hinterland area can further hurt economic momentum.
Active COVID-19 cases in India stood at 24,28,616, up from 22,91,428 cases registered on Thursday, according to Union Health Ministry data.
On the global front, US equities finished sharply lower on Thursday following news reports that President Joe Biden is likely to double capital gain tax for wealthier individuals.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals, while Tokyo was in the red.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.44 per cent higher at USD 65.69 per barrel.