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Markets open lower on first day of 2015

Markets have commenced trading for the calendar 2015 on a subdued note tracking weak global cues along with bank shares leading the fall.

By 9:25, the Sensex was lower by 68 points at 27,431 and the Nifty dipped by 23 points at 8,260 levels.

India’s fiscal deficit was Rs 5.25 trillion ($ 83.08 billion) during April-November, or 98.9% of the full-year target, data released after market hours yesterday showed. The deficit was 93.9% during the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 481.08 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

In 2014, benchmark indices registered their best performance since 2009, gaining for the third straight year, with the Sensex ending the year with a gain of around 30% and Nifty gaining around 31%. The strong market performance is attributed to strong flows into equities globally in general and the stable government at the centre following a landslide victory by Narendra Modi-led BJP government in particular.

Globally, the Sensex was the second best performing index among major nations after China’s benchmark share index Shanghai Composite rising nearly 53% in 2014. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in Indian equities to the tune of $ 16.07 billion in 2014 till December 30.

On the global front, US stocks fell on Wednesday as crude oil prices continued their descent, but the S&P closed out a third straight year of double-digit gains.

For the year, the Dow ended up 7.5%, notching its sixth straight annual gain, and the Nasdaq rose 13.4%. The best-performing S&P component in 2014 was Southwest Airlines Co up 124.6%, while Transocean Ltd, down 62.9%, was the worst.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the trend remained consistent with sustained strength in the labour market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,98,000 for the week ended December 27, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. That followed four straight weeks of declines.

Growth in China’s factory sector slowed as expected in December, a government study showed on Thursday, underlining the challenges facing the country’s manufacturers as they fight rising costs and softening demand in a cooling economy.

Back home, BSE Bankex has slipped by almost 0.4% followed by counters like Consumer Durables, Capital Goods, FMCG, IT, Metal, Oil & Gas and Power, all declining marginally. However, BSE Healthcare, Auto and Realty indices are trading marginally lower.

The main losers on the Sensex are Hindalco, Dr Reddy’s, GAIL, HDFC, Coal India, RIL, NTPC and HUL.

On the gaining side, M&M, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel and Bharti Airtel are trading higher between 0.2-1%.

Metal stocks are in focus after official data showed growth in China’s factory sector slowed in December. China is the world’s largest consumer of steel, copper and aluminum.

Auto stocks will also be in focus as these companies will start unveiling monthly sales volume data for December 2014 from today, 1 January 2015

The broader markets are outperforming the benchmark indices- BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are up 0.1-0.2%.

The market breadth in BSE remains positive with 651 shares advancing and 471 shares declining. 

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