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Mumbai: Indian equity markets slipped 1% on Thursday, extending their fall from yesterday, as surging covid-19 cases spooked investors globally. Index heavyweights Infosys, Reliance Industries, TCS dragged the index lower ahead of the expiry of the March futures and options series.

Benchmark index Sensex slumped nearly 1% to a low of 48,679 points at open, while Nifty lost 0.89% to 14,436 points. On Wednesday, markets slipped nearly 1.7%, the most in a month.

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India recorded its highest single-day covid count in over five months on Wednesday with 53,364 people testing positive for the virus. The last time the country had surpassed this tally was on October 23 when 54,350 cases were recorded, according to a Times of India report.

For the second consecutive day, the daily covid toll breached the 200-mark with 248 victims succumbing to the virus. Active cases now have been rising at a very fast pace and stood at 3.97 lakh on 24 March. The last six days have seen an increase in active cases by a whopping one lakh, the report added.

"Though we have not seen any major correction in the benchmark yet, the uneasiness is certainly increasing with the rapid rise in the COVID cases. Besides, global cues are also mixed. Put together, indications are now pointing towards further slide in the index while volatility is likely to remain high due to the scheduled expiry of March month contracts" said Religare Broking in a note to its investors.

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