Domestic stock markets started Thursday's session on a negative note after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its growth outlook for the country and forecast a deeper global recession. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 1.06 per cent - or 369.2 points - to 34,499.78 in morning deals, having started the day down 343.59 points at 34,525.39. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 10,194.50, after a gap-down opening at 10,235.55 compared to its previous close of 10,305.30. The markets however trimmed early losses as buying interest emerged in consumer goods and pharmaceutical shares.
At 10:12 am, the Sensex traded 146.15 points - or 0.42 per cent - lower at 34,722.83, while the Nifty was down 35.10 points - or 0.34 per cent - at 10,270.20.
Bharti Infratel, Infosys, Eicher Motors, HDFC Bank and Bajaj Finserv - trading between 1.72 per cent and 4.72 per cent lower - were the worst hit among the 28 stocks that moved lower in the 50-sccrip Nifty basket at the time.
On the other hand, GAIL, Hero MotoCorp, ITC, Bajaj Auto and Vedanta - trading between 1.23 per cent and 4.73 per cent higher - were the top Nifty gainers.
The IMF on Wednesday evening predicted the Indian economy would contract by 4.5 per cent in 2020. It also expects global output to shrink 4.9 per cent this year, a sharper fall than the 3 per cent contraction predicted in April.
Derivatives rollover pressures weighed on benchmark indices as investors rushed to book profits and settle their positions, according to analysts. The futures and options contracts for the month of June are due to expire at the end of the session.
Equities in other share markets slipped following overnight losses in Wall Street, as surging COVID-19 cases in the US and the International Monetary Fund's downgrade to global economic projections shook confidence in a recovery.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.53 per cent lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 1.09 per cent. While China's Shanghai Composite index was up 0.30 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's KOSPI indices were down 0.50 per cent and 1.79 per cent respectively.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 0.61 per cent lower, indicating a negative start for the US markets on Thursday.
Meanwhile, oil prices tumbled by more than $2 per barrel - or over 5 per cent - on Wednesday, after US storage hit another record and coronavirus cases rebounded in countries like Germany, and surged in heavily populated areas of the US.