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Sensex ends below 29000, down 256 pts; SBI, ONGC drop 2%


The News International Team

The market extended losses, falling 0.9 percent on the first day of Budget week, dragged by banking & financials, FMCG and oil stocks.

It was a second straight day loss for the market. The 30-share BSE Sensex broke 29000 level, down 256.30 points to 28975.11 while the 50-share NSE Nifty closed below the 8800-mark, down 78.65 points at 8754.95.

Experts feel the market may not see major upside or downside during the week as most of the positives already discounted.

“The market will be volatile over the next few days. We do not expect major changes on the tax front in the Budget while all positives that may come from Railway Budget are already priced in,” says Sanjay Dutt of Quantum Securities.

The Budget session of the parliament kicked off today after President Pranab Mukherjee highlighted the government’s growth strategy in last 9 months in a joint session of both the houses. PM Narendra Modi urged the opposition to allow a constructive debate on all issues.

In stocks, index heavyweights took the big knock – Reliance Industries shed 2.5 percent followed by ITC with 1.5 percent loss and HDFC with 1.8 decline.

Among banks, State Bank of India and Axis Bank slipped 2 percent each while rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were down over 0.5 percent. ONGC, Tata Steel, HUL, Bajaj Auto and GAIL lost 1-2 percent.

JSPL went down 1.6 percent and DLF dropped 3 percent after the National Stock Exchange decided to exclude both stocks from the Nifty with effect from March 27 while Idea Cellular and Yes Bank will be included.

However, TCS, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sesa Sterlite and NTPC bucked the trend, up 0.5-1 percent.

The broader markets too were under pressure as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell 0.84 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. About 1195 shares advanced while 1708 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the rupee closed lower at 62.32 a dollar, down 10 paise compared to Friday’s close.

On the global front, Nikkei closed at fresh 15-year high on Greek deal while in Europe, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX gained 0.3 percent while Britain’s FTSE declined 0.25 percent.


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