Mumbai (Maharashtra), April 22 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices were flat during early hours on Wednesday as Asian shares slipped and Brent oil futures plunged to a two-decade low amid damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 60 points or 0.19 per cent at 30,696 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 7 points or 0.07 per cent at 8,975. Except for Nifty pharma and media, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty metal down by 2.4 per cent, PSU bank by 1.9 per cent and financial service by 1.26 per cent.
Among stocks, index heavyweight Reliance Industries jumped by 5.65 per cent to Rs 1,307.20 per share after Facebook bought a 10 per cent stake in the company’s digital business for 5.7 billion dollars (about Rs 43,547 crore) to expand its presence in India. Auto majors Hero MotoCorp, Maruti and Bajaj Auto were up by 2.1 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. Pharma majors Dr Reddy and Sun Pharma ticked up by 1.8 per cent and 1.7 per cent.
The other prominent gainers were Bharti Infratel, Asian Paints and Infosys. However, ONGC fell by 9.5 per cent to Rs 62.75 per share, IndianOil Corporation by 4.3 per cent and Bharat Petroleum by 3.8 per cent. Metal major Vedanta cracked by 5.4 per cent and Hindalco by 3.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, Asian share markets slipped to two-week lows following crashing crude prices and deep economic damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan lost by 0.8 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei slumped by 1.3 per cent. A day earlier, international benchmark Brent futures dropped below 20 dollars per barrel and last traded at 18.62 dollars. US June crude futures traded at 12.78 dollars per barrel.