Equity benchmark indices traded flat during early hours on April 15 amid an interplay of resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the pace of vaccination. Investors tracked updates on the vaccines approval and prediction of a normal monsoon season across the country despite mixed global cues. At 10:15 am, the BSE S and P Sensex was down by 204 points or 0.42 per cent at 48,340 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 40 points or 0.28 per cent to 14,465. Nifty metal rose by 1.5 per cent and pharma by 1.1 per cent. But all other sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red. Among stocks, IT software major Infosys dropped by 3.6 per cent to Rs 1,344.40 per share after reporting a 2.3 per cent sequential decline in consolidated profit at Rs 5,076 crore for the quarter ended March. Traders booked profit even as the company board approved a buyback of equity shares through open market route amounting to Rs 9,200 crore at a price not exceeding Rs 1,750 a share, Grasim lost by 3.2 per cent, Eicher Motors by 3.1 per cent, Mahindra and Mahindra by 2.8 per cent, Maruti Suzuki by 1.7 per cent and Bajaj Finance by 1 per cent. However, pharma major Cipla rose by 3.3 per cent to Rs 914.70 per share. The other prominent gainers were Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Wipro and Adani Ports. Meanwhile, Asian shares were on the backfoot following mixed cues from Wall Street where a sharp sell-off in the largest bitcoin exchange Coinbase hit tech shares.
Coinbase Global, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, staged a banner stock market debut on Wednesday, in an auspicious moment for the emerging cryptocurrency world. Conway G. Gittens has the details.