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Sensex, Nifty muted as virus cases top 2 million

BENGALURU India’s main shares indexes were trading flat on Friday as domestic coronavirus cases crossed two million, dampening positive sentiment from the previous session following the central bank’s support to the economy.

All 11 major sectors saw moves of less than 1% in subdued trading. The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index, which climbed 0.9% on Thursday, fell 0.11% to 11,187.80 by 0525 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was 0.21% lower at 37,942.63.

“The figures (COVID-19 infections) are not surprising anymore. It is almost a fact now that we have not been able to keep it under control,” said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial in Kochi.

“The hope is that we will see some medical solutions that will help slow down the infection rate.”

India’s central bank had on Thursday announced a one-time loan restructuring for companies battered by the pandemic, a move welcomed by markets, and also left the door open for more interest rate cuts.

Meanwhile, India’s small-cap and mid-cap shares clocked gains of roughly 0.85% each after a clutch of positive earnings reports.

Honeywell Automation India Ltd and Bayer CropScience Ltd jumped 10% each after their June-quarter profits topped analysts’ estimates.

Generic drug maker Lupin Ltd fell as much as 6.2% after its sales and earnings were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the Nifty 50, IT services giant Infosys and HDFC Bank were the biggest drags.

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Other Asian markets tumbled after U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up already heightened tensions with China by banning U.S. transactions with Tencent and the owner of TikTok.

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Source: News18