A woman walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai. Photo: AFP / Himanshu Bhatt / NurPhoto

The renewed surge in Covid-19 cases in India and the world, and fears of fresh lockdowns, took a toll on stock markets last week. Seven of the top 10 Indian companies lost 1.07 trillion rupees (US$14.77 billion) from their market valuation and Reliance Industries accounted for about half of it, the Press Trust of India reported.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex declined 849.74 points, or 1.7%, last week. A week prior, the index had fallen 933.4 points, or 1.83%, and eight of the 10 most valued companies saw a combined erosion of 1.38 trillion rupees ($19.05 billion).

Reliance Industries’ valuation fell 555.65 billion rupees ($7.66 billion) to 12.64 trillion rupees last week. In the prior week Reliance was a major loser with the erosion of a market cap of 359.76 billion rupees. Despite these setbacks, the Mukesh Ambani-owned company retained the top ranking among the most valued firms.

The other top-10 firms that saw a depletion of their market cap last week included Bajaj Finance (161.97 billion rupees), State Bank of India (124.94 billion rupees), Kotak Mahindra Bank (116.81 billion rupees), ICICI Bank (54.67 billion), Infosys (37.51 billion rupees) and HDFC Bank (24.08 billion rupees).

Interestingly, India’s leading software company Tata Consultancy Services has been bucking the trend for the past two weeks. In the last week, it added 18.12 billion rupees to take its market valuation to 11.34 trillion rupees. A week prior, it had gained 23.48 billion rupees and its market valuation rose to 11.33 trillion rupees.

Another consistent gainer for the past two weeks was consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever Limited. In the last week, it gained 3.64 billion rupees to take its valuation to 5.43 trillion rupees. A week prior, Hindustan Unilever’s market cap was up 252.94 billion rupees.

Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation also made gains in its market cap last week, as against losses in the week prior. Last week it gained 627.7 million rupees to take its market capitalization to 4.56 trillion rupees.

Last week Reliance Industries led the top-10 most-valued firms chart, followed by Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC Bank, Infosys, Hindustan Unilever, Housing Development Finance Corporation, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India and Bajaj Finance.

Investors lost more than seven trillion rupees on Wednesday and Thursday when the 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex tumbled 1611.32 points, or 3.21%, in two days due to heavy selling pressure.