The benchmark stock indices opened the day on a negative note, snapping a winning streak as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
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The rupee fell for the fifth straight session and settled 15 paise down at 74.73 (provisional) against the US dollar on Friday as rising COVID-19 cases, weak domestic equities and strengthening American currency weighed on investors' sentiment.
At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 74.75 against the greenback and traded in the range of 74.53 to 74.96 during the day.
The rupee finally ended at 74.73 against the American currency, registering a fall of 15 paise over its previous close. On Thursday, the rupee had settled at 74.58 against the American currency.
This is the fifth straight session of loss for the domestic unit, during which it has seen depreciation of 161 paise.
"Rupee traded weak yet again as the weak trend continues on the back of government spending on vaccines and treatment of COVID-19 increasing numbers," said Jateen Trivedi, Senior Research Analyst at LKP Securities.
Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 155 points on Friday, tracking losses in index heavyweights ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank amid largely negative cues from global markets.
The 30-share BSE index ended 154.89 points or 0.31 % lower at 49,591.32.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 38.95 points or 0.26 % to 14,834.85.
Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 %, followed by UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T and HDFC Bank.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma, HUL, Tech Mahindra and Dr Reddy’s were among the gainers.
The lockdown is turning out to be bullish for consumer good stocks.
PTI reports: "Shares of consumer goods companies in andhar bahar game rose as much as 1.3% on Friday, with retailers stocking up on supplies as many states in the country imposed partial lockdowns and curfews to counter a stubborn rise in COVID-19 cases.
andhar bahar game reported a record number of new COVID-19 infections on Friday, prompting states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and others to either impose night or weekend curfews as the country battles a second wave of infections and states complain of vaccine shortages.
Investors banked on a pickup in demand for consumer staples and personal care items, sending the Nifty subindex for fast-moving consumer goods up as much as 1.3% to record highs, lifting the broader market as well.
Heavyweight Hindustan Unilever Ltd, which sells Lipton teas and Annapurna branded flour, rose as much as 3.0%, while ITC Ltd gained as much as 1.3%.
"We are witnessing some uptick in demand across impacted geographies for our hygiene portfolio under the Savlon brand, as well as food brands including Aashirvaad flour, Yippee noodles and ITC MasterChef frozen snacks among others," an ITC spokesman said.
Purchase of fruits, vegetables, snacks and personal care items had risen by about 40% in cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, said Hari Menon, founder of online grocery retailing website BigBasket.
Analysts, however, said they don't expect the pickup in demand to be as high as when andhar bahar game went into a country-wide lockdown last March, since the curfews are partial and not as stringent as the last time.
"A pickup in demand and delivery similar to the previous lockdown is now expected for FMCG companies, but the pickup will not be as great as it was last time," said KK Mittal, investment advisor at Venus andhar bahar game Asset Finance."
McDonald's expands its offering in andhar bahar game.
PTI reports: "Westlife Development, which operates McDonald's restaurants in southern and western region in andhar bahar game, on Friday said the quick service brand's restaurants will operate 24/7 for contactless delivery from select stores in Mumbai.
"In wake of the new restrictions announced to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in Maharashtra, Westlife Development Ltd owned McDonald's restaurants will operate 24/7 for contactless McDelivery from select stores in Mumbai," Westlife Development said in a regulatory filing.
The brand will further be doubling up on its convenience channels of McDelivery, takeaway and On-the-Go as the state has announced new set of restrictions to arrest the mounting COVID-19 cases, the company added.
Saurabh Kalra, Chief Operating Officer, McDonald's andhar bahar game West and South said “We have been able to cater to our customers' demand through our omni-channel strategy making McDonald's food available for consumers wherever, whenever and however they want.” Westlife Development recently announced vaccination cover for all its 10,000 employees which includes both its corporate office employees as well as the McDonald's restaurant staff."
Some good news for the Centre on the tax front.
Reuters reports: "andhar bahar game's federal net direct tax receipts, mainly comprising corporate and individual income tax, were 9.45 trillion rupees ($126.33 billion) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, surpassing the revised budget target, a government official said.
"Net direct tax collections for the financial year 2020/21 have shown an upswing, despite the inherent challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," Pramod Chandra Mody, head of the Central Board of Direct Taxes told reporters on Friday in virtual briefing."
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