The domestic stock markets have opened deeply in the red, after four successive days of gains, due to profit-booking at higher levels as the daily Covid-cases inched closer to the 4 lakh mark. At 9:18 am, the BSE Sensex was trading at 49,331.35, lower by 431.55 points or 0.8 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,776.50, down 108.63 points or 0.74 per cent. The BSE Midcap and BSE Smallcap indices were, however trading flat.
Meanwhile, India posted a record daily rise in coronavirus cases of 386,452 on Friday, while deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 3,498 over the last 24 hours, according to health ministry data.
Asian shares slipped on Friday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.5 per cent, with both Japan and China falling ahead of a long weekend; the two markets will be closed through Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.4 per cent and China’s CSI 300 lost 0.5 per cent in early trade.
Overnight, the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday, fueled by gains in Facebook following its strong earnings report, while investors awaited upcoming results from Amazon. The Dow Jones rose 0.71 per cent and S&P 500 gained 0.64 per cent.
On the earnings front, Reliance Industries will declare its Q4 results post market hours. IndusInd Bank, Marico and Yes Bank will also be announcing their numbers during the day.
On the stock-specific front, banking and financial stocks were witnessing selling pressure this morning. HDFC Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank, SBI and Kotak Mahindra Bank shed 1-2.8 per cent each in early trading.
On the other hand, Wipro, ONGC, Bajaj Auto and Tata Steel were among the heavyweight stocks to buck the weak trend, gaining 1-3 per cent each on the BSE. And Reliance Industries had edged lower by 0.3 per cent ahead its results.