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Market benchmark Sensex slumped over 71 points in choppy trade today to hit about six-month low of 26,228, falling for the fourth straight session, amid lingering worries about the economic impact of demonetisation. Nifty too dipped below the key 8,100-level.
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Sentiment also took a hit on sustained foreign capital outflow from emerging markets, including India, and the dollar climbing to its highest mark in over 13 years.
Trading sentiment remained distinctly weak due to cash crunch arising out of the government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to flush out black money amid concerns about its impact on small and medium-sized businesses which largely run on cash.
After opening a shade higher at 26,304.90, the Sensex advanced to the day’s high of 26,449.87, largely on bargain-buying by participants, including sustained pumping of funds by domestic financial institutions.
However, it turned volatile largely in tandem with overseas markets and slipped into negative terrain to hit a low of 26,155.40 before settling 71.07 points, or 0.27 per cent, lower at 26,227.62, a level last seen on May 25, 2016.
The Nifty, after shuttling between 8,151.25 and 8,060.30, concluded 31.65 points or 0.39 per cent down at 8,079.95, a level last seen on May 26, 2016, when it closed at 8,069.65.
The BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.38 per cent, while the small-cap index lost 0.57 per cent.
A total of 16 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower, while 14 closed higher.
Major loser was Bharti Airtel, which was down 4.26 per cent. The company announced the completion of the merger of its subsidiary Airtel Bangladesh with Robi Axiata, a unit of Axiata Group Berhad.
It was followed by Bajaj Auto (2.55 per cent), TCS (2.20 per cent), Coal India (2.08 per cent), Asian Paints (1.72 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (1.25 per cent), HDFC Bank (1.14 per cent), Infosys (1.12 per cent) and Maruti (1.01 per cent).
However, shares of auto major Tata Motors surged 3.21 per cent at Rs 475. The stock hit a high of Rs 476.20 and a low of Rs 459.80 in intra-day trade.
It was followed by Power Grid (2.66 per cent), Gail (1.52 per cent), Cipla (1.12 per cent), NTPC (1.00 per cent) and HUL (0.86 per cent).
Among BSE sectoral indices, telecom fell 2.45 per cent, followed by Teck (1.66 per cent), IT (1.38 per cent), financial service (0.16 per cent), Bankex (0.09 per cent) and capital goods (0.08 per cent).
However, utilities rose by 1.14 per cent, power 0.93 per cent, metal 0.50 per cent, oil&gas 0.36 per cent and healthcare by 0.36 per cent.
Market breadth remained negative as 1,671 shares ended lower, 943 closed higher while 158 ruled steady.
Total turnover on BSE fell sharply to Rs 2,660.23 crore from Rs 4,302.99 crore registered during the previous trading session.
Globally, other Asian markets ended mixed with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng falling 0.08 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei ended flat. Shanghai Composite Index, however, was up 0.11 per cent.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 4.2 per cent year-on-year to reach 666.3 billion yuan in the first ten months of the year, official data showed today.
European shares, after a lower beginning, turned positive in late morning deals. London’s FTSE gained 0.24 per cent, Paris CAC was up 0.01 per cent, while Germany’s DAX shed 0.17 per cent.