It was an extremely volatile trading session as the market closed on a soft note with a downward bias. The Sensex ended the day at 18877.96, down 40.56 points while the Nifty lost 21.20 points to close at 5698.50.
Selling pressure was seen in metals and cement stocks. BSE Metal Index fell 2.5% as China's Shanghai lost 3.65% after Beijing introduced a fresh set of curbs on the property market to cool home prices. Some of the losers among the metal stocks include Hindalco, SAIL, Jindal Steel, JSW Steel and Sesa Goa shedding around 3-4.5 percent each. ACC (down 3.8 percent), Shree Cement (down 3.1 percent), Ambuja (down 2.3 percent), UltraTech Cement (down 2 percent) were among the losers in the cement space.
High beta stocks like DLF and Reliance Infra (down 3.4 percent each) also dragged the indices during the day. Bajaj Auto fell around 2% on lower than expected sales numbers in February
State-owned hydro power company NHPC fell as much as 19 percent despite the management's clarification on fall in shares. Shares dropped more than 37 percent in three consecutive sessions amid hefty volumes.
Slipping 11.41 percent, Essar Oil closed the day at Rs 72.65 on the BSE, despite receiving phase III environmental clearance for its coal bed methane gas field at Raniganj, West Bengal. With the environmental nod granted by the government of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests, the company is allowed to increase drilling to 650 wells.
Meanwhile, on the gainers side were Dr Reddy's Lab, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, TCS and ITC gaining around 1 percent.
Venkys (India) rose 5.4 percent after the company decided to undertake expansion-cum-modernisation programme at an estimated cost of Rs 125 crore.
Marksans Pharma rallied 5 percent as the company entered into a settlement agreement with the holders of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) for settling USD 26,918,000 worth of FCCBs in principal value.
Sudarshan Sukhani, s2analytics.com advises that it will be an opportunity to initiate a new short-term position, if the market opens weak again tomorrow.
SP Tulsian feels that the market may remain in a tight range or may be having a range of about 100 points from here practically for whole week. "Probably things should subside by tomorrow and then we may have mild positive behaviour of the market for the remaining three, four days in this week," he adds.
Indian equity market stayed down with fresh pressure coming in from withered Europe, particularly Italy. At 13.33 PM, the Sensex was down 77.60 points at 18840.92, and the Nifty was trading 37.50 points lower at 5682.20.
Equity benchmarks continue to languish as auto and metals see largescale sell-off. Sentiment was also hit by Chinese market, which were trading with a deep cut.
The BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled by 126 points to 18,792.94 in the late morning deals due to heavy selling pressure from operators mainly in Metal, Realty, FMCG, Consumer Goods, Power and PSU sectors, triggered by weak Asian cues.
Key equity benchmark started on a flat note, reflecting hurt sentiment by a patchy global growth outlook and weak data from Europe.
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Market in fine fettle; 2014-end Sensex target at 26300:Citi