The domestic markets on Friday made losses in early trade, tracking weak global cues as the fear of Covid surge loomed large. Stocks in the health sector like Granules, Morepen Lab, Thyrocare and Cipla surge in the morning while the majority of stocks in BSE IT declined in the early session.
S&P BSE Sensex declined 376 points to 60,450 in the morning while NSE Nifty went down 115 points to 17,995.45 level at 9.30 am on Friday.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 297 points in the morning trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng went down 35.85 points while China's Shanghai gained two points.
In Europe, FTSE declined 28 points, CAC was trading in the green, Deutsche Borse was down 183 points while Refinitiv went down 2 points.
In American markets, Dow Jones was down 348 points, Nasdaq declined 233 points while S&P went down 56 points as Asian markets opened on Friday.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level virtual meeting to review the Covid-19 situation and its related aspects in the county. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Parameswaran Iyer were among others who participated in the meeting.
On Thursday, domestic shares declined for the third straight session amid widespread selling pressure. However, most IT and pharma shares bucked the trend. Positive Asian stocks failed to boost sentiment as the hawkish comments from the RBI's MPC minutes spooked investors.
Sensex ended 241.02 points down or 0.39 per cent to 60,826.22 while the Nifty 50 index lost 71.75 points or 0.39 per cent to 18,127.35. Both the indices slipped 1.59 per cent in three trading sessions.
On Thursday, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv and Larsen and Toubro were major drags.
Investor sentiment nosedived after the latest data showed that over 11 million new Covid-19 cases were reported in December worldwide. The new infections were not confined to a region, but were spread across all continents, barring Africa.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, slipped 2.40% to 15.19.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 82.755, compared with its close of 82.84 during the previous trading session.
On Thursday, shares of Maruti Suzuki India lost 0.11 per cent. The car major said it signed a five-year pact with Kamarajar Port for the export of passenger vehicles to international markets.
Shares of Strides Pharma Science shed 0.60 per cent on Thursday. The pharmaceutical company said that its step-down subsidiary in Singapore, Strides Pharma Global received AUD 94 million as the deferred consideration for the sale of firm's Australian operations in 2019.
(With inputs from ANI)