Domestic stock markets started Wednesday’s session on a choppy note amid weakness in global equities following two days of rally, as India entered the fifteenth day of a 21-day countrywide lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index swung between gains and losses soon after starting the day down 365.29 points at 29,701.92. The index moved in a range of 637.87 points, touching 30,240.81 and 29,602.94 at the strongest and weakest levels recorded in early trade respectively. The broader NSE Nifty benchmark started the day at 8,688.90, down 103.3 points from the previous close.
At 9:30 am, the Sensex traded 3.29 points higher at 30,070.50 while the Nifty was down 14.10 points at 8,778.10. The weakness came a day after Sensex and Nifty posted their biggest single-day gain since 2009 tracking global peers.
Market breadth favoured gains with an advance-decline ratio of almost 3:1, as 928 stocks on the BSE traded higher while 310 moved lower. On the NSE, 1,070 stocks advanced while 466 declined.
Analysts say volatility cannot be ruled out as investors assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global economy.
Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 had ended 0.16 per cent lower, having been up as much as 3.5 per cent at one stage, while the Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial average indices dropped 0.33 per cent and 0.12 per cent respectively.
After US market hours, President Donald Trump said the United States may be getting to the top of the coronavirus curve. The Trump administration asked Congress for an additional $250 billion in emergency economic aid for small US businesses reeling under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
International oil markets were volatile, with prices rebounding in early Asia trade after sliding on Tuesday. Brent crude – the global benchmark for crude oil – rose by 74 cents to $32.61 a barrel.
On Tuesday, the first session of the holiday-shortened three-day trading week, the Sensex had risen 2,476.26 points (8.97 per cent) to end at 30,067.21, and the Nifty had settled at 8,792.20, up 708.40 points (8.76 per cent) from the previous close – the best day in absolute terms for both indices since 2009.