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Sensex Sheds Over 250 Points, Financial Stocks Trade Weak



21 Mar 2021

Asian markets were holding their nerve on Monday as a plunge in the Turkish lira tested risk appetite, with stocks and bonds showing only a limited bid for safe-havens

The domestic stock markets have opened weak, after the gains witnessed in Friday's session, due to mixed global cues. At 9:17 am, the BSE Sensex was at 49,596.75, lower by 266 points or 0.51 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,681.70, down 65.25 points or 0.47 per cent. The broader markets are, however, outperforming their largecap peers, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining 0.7 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

Asian markets were holding their nerve on Monday as a plunge in the Turkish lira tested risk appetite, with stocks and bonds showing only a limited bid for safe-havens. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.4 per cent, not helped by talk Japanese retail investors could face losses on large long positions in the high-yielding lira.

The Nasdaq ended mixed on Friday, lifted by Facebook and energy shares as U.S. Treasury yields took a break from a recent surge.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234.79 points, or 0.71 per cent, to 32,627.51, the S&P 500 lost 2.71 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 3,912.75 and Nasdaq Composite added 99.07 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 13,215.24

Meanwhile, oil prices resumed their decline on Monday, falling around 1 per cent as worries about a drop in demand for fuel products in the wake of yet more European lockdowns dominated trading.

Brent crude was down 60 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $63.93 a barrel by 0136 GMT. U.S. oil was off by 68 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $60.74 a barrel. Both contracts fell by more than 6 per cent last week.

Index heavyweights such as Tata Motors, L&T and Reliance Industries have weakeaned around 1 per cent to top the loser's list on the BSE. Financial stocks are also weeing selling pressure, with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank losing around a per cent each.

On the other hand, pharma stocks are bucking the weak trend, with Cipla, Divi's Lab, Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma gaining around a per cent each on the BSE. 

The BSE market breadth is strong. Out of 2,103 stocks traded on the BSE, there are 1,076 advancing stocks as against 921 declines.