Sensex ends flat in listless trading, logs 1st fall in 6 weeks as US rate hike worries resurface

Mumbai: Market registered its first weekly fall in six weeks after the Sensex Friday stayed on the side of caution despite deep swings as it failed to completely shake off growing concerns about US Fed action this month.

Investors looked forward to Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen's speech to check for any confirmation on March rate increase.

Both indices have recorded their first fall in six weeks.

After opening lower, the Sensex continued its slide to hit a low of 28,716.21, but across-the-board buying towards the finish line saw it recover most of the day's losses to settle lower by 7.34 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 28,832.45.

The gauge had lost 145 points in the previous session as investors booked profit after the recent run-up.



On similar lines, the wider NSE Nifty closed down 2.20 points, or 0.02 percent, at 8,897.55, after shuttling between 8,860.10 and 8,907.10.

On a weekly basis, the BSE Sensex fell 60.52 points, or 0.20 percent, and the Nifty 41.95 points, or 0.46 percent, halting a five-week rising streak.

Services sector activity rebounded in February for the first time since October -- as was borne out by the Nikkei India Services PMI.

"The market smartly reversed from its day low as investors accumulated stocks, having strong fundamentals, at attractive levels," said Manoj Choraria , a Delhi-based NSE broker.

Global cues were also weak following fresh losses at other Asian markets, in line with the global sell-off after recent rally, which had a bearing.

Japan's Nikkei fell 0.49 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.64 percent while China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.36 percent. South Korea's Kospi sank 1.14 percent. Stocks in Taiwan and Singapore were also down by up to 0.74 percent.

London's FTSE was down 0.35 percent, Paris CAC 40 0.27 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 0.52 percent in their early sessions.

HDFC tanked most by falling 1.89 percent, followed by Asian Paints 1.34 percent.

As many as 16 stocks lost while 14 ended higher.

Others that lost included ITC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Bharti Airtel and TCS.

The heavy-weight Reliance Industries surged 2.04 percent, its highest level since May 2008. GAIL topped the gainers list by climbing 3.56 percent.

Sector-wise, FMCG burnt its fingers by retreating 0.39 percent, followed by banks, auto and capital goods, while oil & gas gained 1.12 percent and realty rose 0.86 percent.

Stocks of sugar companies were back in the limelight, driven by 19 percent fall in sugar production to 16.24 million tonnes during the first five months of 2016-17.

Shares of Dhampur Sugar, Dwarikesh Sugar, K M Sugar, Upper Ganges Sugar and Sakthi Sugar rose by up to 11.82 percent.

Outperforming the overall trend, broader markets were in a better shape, with the small-cap index rising 0.34 percent and mid-cap 0.23 percent as investors raised their bets.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth net Rs 122.94 crore Thursday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Updated Date: Mar 03, 2017 18:27 PM

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