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Sensex Slips 209 Pts, Hits 1 Month Low

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The downtrend in markets continued for the third straight day with benchmark Sensex on Friday (20 March) slipping 209 points to over 1-month low and the Nifty index fell below the key 8,600-mark on selling in heavyweights ahead of quarterly earnings beginning early next month.

Realty, Power, FMCG, Consumer Durables, Healtchare, Auto, Capital Goods, Banking, Metals and Oil & Gas stocks slipped.

The BSE Sensex opened in negative zone 28,465.44 and hovered between 28,484.36 and 28,242.40 before settling at 28,261.08: a loss of 208.59 points, or 0.73 per cent, over its previous close. This is its lowest close since February 9.

The bellwether 30-share Sensex has now lost 475.30 points in straight three days. On a weekly basis, this is the second straight weekly loss for the benchmark.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty index lost 63.75 points, or 0.74 per cent, to end below 8,600 mark at 8,570.90 after moving between 8,627.90 and 8,563.

"Markets are awaiting developments on important bills like the Land Acquisition Bill. Moreover, markets are also awaiting the 4Q results, which are expected to be subdued," said Dipen Shah, Head of PCG Research, Kotak Securities.

NTPC was the top loser among Sensex and Nifty stocks by slumping 6.25 per cent after the company went ex-bonus for its bonus issue of debentures.

Pharma stocks, which have been outperforming the benchmark indices in the past few trading sessions, also came under selling pressure. Sun Pharma and Cipla fell largely succumbing to profit-booking at prevailing levels.

Meanwhile, Foreign Institutional Investors bought shares worth Rs 1,428.72 crore on Thursday (19 March), as per provisional data.

Mixed trends at other Asian markets and a higher opening in Europe also influenced trading here, they added.

Among the 30 Sensex constituents, 21 ended lower while nine led by Wipro, Infosys, Coal India and TCS ended higher.

Stocks of sugar companies sank as prices in the domestic market are currently at over five-year lows. Shree Renuka Sugars fell by 4.49 per cent, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar by 4.13 per cent, Dhampur Sugar Mills by 4.42 per cent, among others.

Sectorwise, the BSE Realty index suffered the most by losing 3.74 per cent, followed by Power by 2.09 per cent, FMCG by 2.09 per cent, Consumer Durables by 1.93 per cent, Healtchare by 1.52 per cent and Auto by 1.36 per cent.

Selling pressure in small and midcap stocks also pulled down the BSE Small-cap index by 2.14 per cent and Mid-cap index by 1.49 per cent.

Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services said, "Today local equities traded weak tracking negative sentiments in global equities as indices lost over one per cent during the day". Indices traded weak for the third consecutive day and is heading towards to post its second weekly fall as investors continued to trade cautiously and booked profit at higher levels as investors doubted more upside in the market in the anticipation that Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than previously thought which would curb the FIIs investments in the developing countries, he added.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,428.72 crore on Thursday as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

21 scrips out of the 30-share sensex pack ended lower while nine others finished higher.

Major losers were NTPC (6.25 per cent), BHEL (3.68 per cent), Icici Bank (3.36 per cent), Gail India (3.31 per cent), M&M (2.70 per cent), HUL (2.64 per cent), Tata Steel (2.20 per cent), Hero Motocorp (1.89 per cent), Sun Pharma (1.79 per cent), ITC (1.64 per cent), SSLT (1.62 per cent), Cipla (1.35 per cent), Axis Bank (1.30 per cent), SBI (1.14 per cent) and Tata Motors (1.03 per cent).

However, Wipro rose by 2.92 per cent and Infoys 1.30 per cent.

Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Realty dropped by 3.74 per cent followed by Power 2.09 per cent, FMCG 2.09 per cent, Consumer Durable 1.93 per cent, Heahthcare 1.52 per cent, Auto 1.36 per cent, Capital Goods 1.16 per cent and Bankex by 0.89 per cent.

The total market breadth continued to remain weak as 2,117 stocks ended in red, 752 finished in green while 106 ruled steady. The total turnover declined to Rs 3,683.76 crore from Rs 3,835.31 crore on Thursday.

(PTI)


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