Domestic stock markets started Friday's session on a weak note, a day after the Reserve Bank of India announced a cut in the repo rate while adopting an "accommodative" stance. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 250.25 points in early trade to 39,279.47, and the NSE Nifty moved to 11,769.50, down 74.25 points from the previous close. A selloff across sectors, led by pharmaceutical shares, hurt the markets. At 9:44 am, the Sensex traded 161.00 points - or 0.41 per cent - lower at 39,368.72, while the Nifty was down 41.85 points - or 0.35 per cent - 11,801.90.
Top laggards on the 50-scrip benchmark index at the time were Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Cipla, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Maruti Suzuki and Kotak Bank, trading between 1.34 per cent and 2.80 per cent lower.
The Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), led by Governor Shaktikanta Das, on Thursday unanimously lowered the key lending rate to 5.75 per cent, a level last seen in September 2010. The six-member committee changed the policy stance to "accommodative" from "neutral".
The central bank also lowered its GDP growth forecast for financial year 2019-20 to 7 per cent, from 7.2 per cent in April.
Wipro shares rose 0.75 per cent in morning deals, a day after the IT company said its founder Azim Premji would retire as executive chairman and managing director on July 30, and appointed as non-executive director for a period of five years from July 31. The company's board also approved the appointment of his son and whole-time director Rishad Premji as the new executive chairman.
The Sensex and Nifty had ended 1.38 per cent and 1.48 per cent lower on Thursday respectively, marking their biggest single-day fall of the calendar year.
Equities in other Asian markets dithered on Monday as investors waited for concrete signs of progress in the US-Mexican trade standoff. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.04 per cent higher and looked set for another cautious session being up just 0.6 per cent for the week so far. Japan's Nikkei firmed 0.3 per cent, whereas South Korea slipped 0.5 per cent. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were mostly flat.
Mexican and US officials had held a second day of talks on trade and migration on Thursday amid reports that US President Donald Trump might delay the imposition of tariffs that was due on Monday. Investors also braced for a US jobs report that could sway the course of interest rates in the world's largest economy.
Overnight in the US, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended 0.71 per cent, 0.61 per cent and 0.53 per cent higher respectively.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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