Stock market indices in India fell in trade as covid worries resurfaced across the globe, dragging markets in Asia lower. The Japanese Nikkei 225 was down 808 points or 2.74%, while the Hang Sang too was down more than 2% and the Australian S&P ASX 200 was down 1.33%.
According to a report in Bloomberg, Scientists in South Africa and the World Health Organization are studying the recently identified variant described as very different to previous versions. The U.K. and Israel banned flights from South Africa and some other African countries.
The Sensex was trading with losses of nearly 1200 points, while the Nifty dropped 362 points in trade at 10.30 am.
Shares in Reliance Industries, which had rallied significantly on Thursday, following plans to restructure and repurpose gasification assets lost ground and dropped around 1.6%. ONGC, HDFC, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra were seeing big losses.
Pharma stocks were the ones that were seeing buying interest with Cipla, Dr Reddy's and Divis among the gainers.
"Going ahead, the markets are likely to continue with consolidation though short term rebound cannot be ruled out post 6% correction from the peak. Weak global cues, persistent FII selling and premium valuation would keep markets uncertain for a while. " says Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.
According to him, investors would track covid situation in Europe and would await India's GDP data due next week for market direction.
Meanwhile, oil fell by almost 2%, while gold was up, as safe haven buying in the precious metal continued.