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Markets extend losing streak for 5th day; Bharti Airtel crashes 8%

Mumbai: Benchmark indices pared intra-day gains to end with losses for the fifth straight session on Wednesday as sentiment remained risk-averse despite supportive cues from global markets.

Telecom and finance counters witnessed robust selling, while gains in index heavyweights RIL and HDFC Bank restricted the losses for the benchmarks.

After opening on a positive note, the 30-share BSE Sensex suddenly came under selling pressure in afternoon trade, before finally closing 65.66 points or 0.17 per cent lower at 37,668.42.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty shed 21.80 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 11,131.85.

Bharti Airtel was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tanking 7.89 per cent, a day after Reliance Jio unveiled aggressively priced post-paid plans bundling data and subscription to streaming services.

Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, PowerGrid, ONGC, TCS and Bajaj Finance were among the other losers, tumbling as much as 3.46 per cent.

On the other hand, Axis Bank, HUL, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Nestle India and Titan led the winners' chart with gains of up to 1.82 per cent.

Reliance Industries closed 0.83 per cent higher after the company said global investment firm KKR will invest Rs 5,550 crore in its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) for 1.28 per cent equity stake. Global equities found firmer ground following a rebound on Wall Street, which was once again led by technology stocks.

"Indian benchmark indices traded in a tight range before finally ending the day with a negative bias. The uncertainty and lack of direction was clear in the market trend, which was actually supported by gains in RIL and HDFC Bank. Banking index ended the day slightly positive.

"Global cues were mostly positive. But the re-emergence of virus infections around the world has put doubts on the global economic recovery, and the positivity in the global markets was led by technology shares. Tomorrow being an expiry day and with uncertainty ruling the markets, traders are advised to be cautious," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, the BSE telecom index crashed 7.36 per cent, followed by power, utilities, teck and healthcare indices that slipped up to 2.13 per cent.

However, consumer durables, realty, energy, bankex and metal indices finished in the green. Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap gauges skidded up to 0.33 per cent.

In rest of Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended with gains, while Tokyo closed in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading significantly higher in early deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.89 per cent higher at $42.09 per barrel.

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