April 19, 2024


Delighting finance buffs

Indian shares end lower in wake of IMF outlook, surge in coronavirus cases

The IMF on Wednesday evening predicted the Indian economy would contract by 4.5 per cent in 2020.

File photo of Bombay Stock Exchange

File photo of Bombay Stock Exchange (Photo Credits: PTI)

Indian shares closed slightly lower on Thursday after a volatile session, as investors weighed a downbeat growth outlook from the International Monetary Fund and a surge in Covid-19 cases, while gains in consumer and pharma stocks capped losses.

The IMF on Wednesday evening predicted the Indian economy would contract by 4.5 per cent in 2020. It also expects global output to shrink 4.9 per cent this year, a sharper fall than the 3 per cent contraction predicted in April.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended down 0.16 per cent to 10,288.90 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.1 per cent to 34,842.10.

The Nifty fast-moving consumer goods index rose 2.12 per cent, while the pharma index gained 0.8 per cent.

The FMCG and pharma indexes have gained 4.9 per cent and 1.9 per cent so far this week, respectively, compared with a 0.8 per cent gain in the heavyweight Nifty Bank index.

“Renewed interest in safe-haven sectors like pharma and consumer staples is indicative of the market’s wariness about continuance of the mammoth risk-on rally from March lows,” said Ajay Bodke, chief executive officer and chief portfolio manager (portfolio management services) at Prabhudas Lilladher in Mumbai.

The Nifty 50 index has surged about 37 per cent after hitting a four-year low in March, as the economy gradually reopened and foreign investors poured money due to massive global liquidity even as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the world.

Domestic coronavirus virus cases surged over 473,000, while some US states reported a record increase in new cases on Wednesday and Australia posted its biggest daily rise in infections in two months.

ITC Ltd ended up 5.6 per cent and was the top gainer and boost in the Nifty 50 index.

World stocks spluttered to their lowest level in more than a week on Thursday.

IndiaToday.in has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.
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