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Nifty opens below 8,550 ahead of RBI policy meet

Markets have commenced the trading session on a marginally lower note ahead of Reserve Bank of India’s decision on key rates at its policy review meet today.

By 9:25AM, the 30-share Sensex was lower by 45 points at 28,514 mark and the Nifty slipped by 17 points at 8,538 levels.

The broader markets are trading flat with positive bias. The market breadth on the BSE remains nearly neutral with 681 shares advancing and 643 shares declining.

The Reserve Bank of India is expected to keep interest rates unchanged today, staying focused on containing inflation, while adopting a more dovish tone in response to the government’s call for help to revive economic growth.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 12.36 crore on Monday, as per provisional data.

In November, manufacturing activity in India rose to a 21-month high, though that didn’t lead to additional hiring, showed the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released on Monday.

On the global front, world stock markets fell on Monday as slowing factory activity in China and Europe added to worries about weaker global growth and Apple shares dropped, while the yen hit a seven-year low against the dollar before recovering.

Oil prices rebounded sharply after hitting five-year lows, lifted by data suggesting that tumbling prices may have started affecting drilling activity in the fast-growing US shale oil industry. Gold posted its biggest daily gain in more than a year.

Back home, interest rate sensitive sectors like banks, realty and auto stocks are under pressure ahead of RBI’s policy meet today.

BSE IT index has slipped by nearly 1%. However, BSE FMCG index has gained by almost 1%.  

Infosys turns ex-bonus today for 1:1 bonus issue. The stock is the top Sensex loser, down by almost 3%. The company has fixed December 3, 2014 as the record date for the purpose of allotment of bonus shares. However, the stock turned ex-bonus today.

Other notable losers are Bajaj Auto, M&M, GAIL, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Dr Reddy’s Labs.

Bajaj Auto has slumped by almost 2%. The company’s total sales in November 2014 declined to 309,259 units compared to 310,591 units in the same month last year.

M&M has slipped by 1% after reporting a 13% decline in total car sales numbers in November, 2014 compared to same month last year.

ICICI Bank is down by nearly 1% as the stock turns ex-stock split on December, 4. Shareholders would be entitled to receive 5 equity shares of nominal value of Rs. 2 each in lieu of 1 equity share of nominal value of Rs. 10 each of the Bank.

On the gaining side, ONGC, Sesa Sterlite, NTPC, Sun Pharma and RIL have gained by 1% each.

Fitch Ratings has revised its outlook on RIL citing a better than expected show by its US shale gas business, which offset the dip in the domestic exploration business.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is expected to come out with its decision on the merger of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy this week.

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