Domestic stock markets tumbled more than 2 per cent this week, following two straight weeks of gains, amid increasing COVID-19 cases around the world. Analysts say fading optimism on a fast recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions, along with geopolitical tensions, hurt investor sentiment. A sharp selloff in banking and financial services shares weighed on benchmark indices S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50. Globally, shares tumbled ahead of the release of US jobs data, as investors remained on the back foot to see if any sign of weakness in the world’s largest economy triggers a larger selloff.
For the week ended September 4, the Sensex index declined 2.81 per cent to end at 38,357.18, and the broader Nifty benchmark tumbled 2.69 per cent to 11,333.85. In the previous two weeks, the Sensex had added a total 1,589.97 points and the Nifty risen 469.2 points.
Axis Bank (down 10.24 per cent), ICICI Bank (8.47 per cent), Sun Pharma (8.03 per cent) and State Bank of India (7.72 per cent) were the worst hit among the 37 laggards in the Nifty basket of 50 shares. On the other hand, Bharti Infratel (up 6.38 per cent), Tata Motors (3.36 pe cent) and TCS (2.64 per cent) were the top percentage gainers in Nifty.
The Nifty Bank – comprising stocks of 12 major lenders in the country – crashed 2.21 per cent on Friday, a day after the Supreme Court directed banks not to declare any loans that were standard as of end-August as non-performing until further orders.
That took its weekly loss to as high as 9.07 per cent. Analysts say the next court hearing, due on September 10, will be watched closely for cues.
“Uncertainties await the markets in the coming week, be it global economic data or border tensions between India and China. Indian markets have been in sync with global counterparts and will have an impact,” Vinod Nair. head of research at Geojit Financial Services, told NDTV.
“Markets seem to have lost momentum… and could be heading into a round of consolidation,” he said.
“The next Supreme Court hearing on petitions seeking interest rate waiver for the moratorium period…may induce volatility in the banking pack,” said Ajit Mishra, VP-research, Religare Broking.
The benchmark indices have rallied more than 50 per cent since a coronavirus-triggered crash in the markets in March, as huge flows of cheap capital provided by global central banks made heavily discounted stocks attractive.