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Sensex slumps 674 points; Nifty drops below 8,100

Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled 674 points on Friday, weighed by losses in banking stocks as unabated spike in new Covid-19 cases fuelled uncertainty over the economic impact of the pandemic.

After hitting a low of 27,500.79 during the day, the 30-share BSE barometer ended 674.36 points or 2.39 per cent lower at 27,590.95.

The NSE Nifty shed 170 points, or 2.06 per cent, to finish at 8,083.80.

Axis Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, cracking over 9 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Titan, SBI, Maruti, HDFC and Asian Paints.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, ITC, ONGC, M&M and Tech Mahindra were among the gainers.

With fresh cases of novel coronavirus mounting by the day, concerns over a looming economic recession kept investors on the edge, traders said.

The Asian Development Bank warned on Friday that the Covid-19 pandemic could cost the global economy USD 4.1 trillion as it ravages United States, Europe and other major economies.

It also said that India’s economic growth rate will slip to 4 per cent in the current fiscal.

The number of Covid-19 cases in India has crossed 2,300 while the death toll rose to 56, according to the Health Ministry.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world has soared past one million and fatalities have topped 50,000 as the US reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far.

Bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended in the red, while those in Seoul and Tokyo closed with mild gains.

Stocks in Europe were also trading with significant losses in early deals.

On the currency front, the rupee depreciated 55 paise to 76.15 against the US dollar in intra-day trade.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rallied 8.15 per cent to USD 32.36 per barrel amid hopes that Russia and Saudi Arabia will end a price war by slashing crude output.

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