The News International Team
The market closed a rangebound session on a weak note with benchmark indices losing 0.4 percent each ahead of Federal Reserve policy meeting outcome tonight. FMCG, infrastructure, technology and select auto stocks saw selling pressure.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 114.26 points to 28622.12 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 37.40 points to 8685.90 on profit booking after rising a percent in previous session.
However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3 percent each. About 1270 shares advanced against 1584 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Experts believe the market may remain rangebound. Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS feels the Nifty can trade in the 8000-9000 range over the next few months.
According to him, the US Federal Reserve decision will be a key factor for markets – Indian as well as global. If in fact the Fed signals a rate hike, dollar will start strengthening, which is not good for emerging market equities, he said, as it may lead to capital flight.
Global markets awaited the US Federal Reserve’s policy announcement with caution. European equities were mixed while most Asian benchmarks ended higher with the Shanghai rising over 2 percent.
Back home, NTPC was the biggest loser on Sensex, down more than 3 percent as sources told CNBC-TV18 that the government moved a cabinet note to divest 10 percent stake in the country’s largest power generation company. The sale is likely to fetch the government over Rs 12,000 crore at the current market price, sources added.
Tata Motors was the leading contributor to the index fall, down 2 percent post Jaguar Land Rover global sales data for February. JLR’s wholesale volumes fell 1 percent year-on-year. Jaguar volumes declined by 3 percent to 6,448 units while Land Rover volumes were down 1 percent to 32,093 units.
HDFC, ITC, ONGC, Wipro, HUL, M&M, Bharti Airtel and BHEL dropped 1-2 percent whereas Reliance Industries and SBI gained more than 1.3 percent.
Sesa Sterlite was up 0.6 percent and Kalyani Steels rallied 5.5 percent after Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar said environment ministry has withdrawn suspension on environment clearances for mining leases.
In the broader space, Jet Airways climbed nearly 4 percent as the company paid all TDS dues including interest to I-T department.