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Share/Stock Highlights: The benchmark equity indices on the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE) tumbled nearly 3 per cent on Friday tracking the weakness in global markets which fell as investors dumped risky assets after a new and possibly vaccine-resistant Covid-19 variant was identified in South Africa.

The S&P BSE Sensex crashed 1,687.94 points (2.87 per cent) to end at 57,107.15, while the broader Nifty 50 declined 509.80 points (2.91 per cent) to settle at 17,026.45. Earlier in the day, both the indices had opened over 1 per cent lower and extended losses as the session progressed.

On the Sensex pack, IndusInd Bank, Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Steel, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), Titan Company, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and State Bank of India (SBI) were the biggest laggards of the day crashing in a range of 4-6 per cent.

On the other hand, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Nestle India were the only gainers. Asian Paints and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) ended largely flat on Friday.

Coming to sectoral indices, all sectors except pharmaceuticals ended lower on Friday. The Nifty Pharma index rose 1.70 per cent led by Cipla, Alkem Laboratories and Pfizer. On the other hand, the Nifty Realty cracked 6.26 per cent dragged by The Phoenix Mills, DLF and Sunteck Realty. The Nifty Metal too fell 5.34 per cent weighed by National Aluminium Company, JSW Steel and Jindal Steel & Power.

Among the broader market indices, the S&P BSE MidCap index ended at 24,846.51, down 828.90 points (3.23 per cent) while the S&P BSE SmallCap fell 751.34 points (2.61 per cent) to settle at 28,071.41. The volatility index or India VIX surged 24.84 per cent to 20.8025.

(with inputs from agencies)

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