Equity benchmark indices traded within a narrow range on Friday as surging Covid cases became an area of serious concern with several cities declaring night curfews Market experts said unless this second wave peaks soon and subsides, economic activity will be impacted and uncertainty will weigh on investor sentiments.
The BSE SandP Sensex closed 155 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 49,591 while the Nifty 50 slipped by 39 points or 0.26 per cent to 14,835.
Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty private bank down by 0.9 per cent and financial service by 0.7 per cent.
But Nifty PSU bank rose by 2 per cent and pharma by 3 per cent.
Among stocks, Axis Bank closed 2 per cent lower at Rs 668.05 per share while ICICI Bank lost by 1.8 per cent to Rs 565.95.
Bajaj Finance skidded by 3 per cent to close at Rs 4,878 per share.
UPL, UltraTech Cement, Tata Steel, NTPC, Coal India and IndianOil Corporation too were in the negative zone.
However, pharma major Cipla jumped by 5.3 per cent to Rs 836.95 per share.
Sun Pharma too gained by 3.5 per cent and Dr Reddy's by 1.6 per cent.
The other prominent winners were Hindustan Lever, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Tata Motors, JSW Steel and Titan.
Meanwhile, Asian equities were in a choppy trading session after technology stocks lifted the SandP 500 to a new record.
Investors weighed an unexpected rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits.
Japan's Nikkei was up by 0.2 per cent but Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rolled down by 1.07 per cent.
South Korea's Kospi too fell by 0.36 per cent.