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Late sell-off drags Sensex 245pts; Midcaps snap 10-day gain


The News International Team

A late bear-attack dragged the market deep in red in the last half an hour of trade on Wednesday. Equity benchmarks shed more than 1 percent intraday with the broader markets falling in step. Technology, pharma, auto, capital goods and private banking & financials stocks saw selling pressure.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 244.75 points or 0.84 percent to 28799.69 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 83.80 points or 0.95 percent to 8750.20.

The broader markets also felt the brunt as the BSE Midcap index snapped 10-day winning streak, down 0.5 percent and Smallcap dropped for the first time in last 10 sessions, down 0.3 percent.

One could still see a small correction of 100-200 points on the Nifty in the next two-three days, said Tushar Mahajan, Hd-Listed Futures & Options, India, Nomura Financial Advisory & Securities.

However, he believes the underlying trend for the market is positive and it will continue its uptrend at a slower pace. He thinks there is a good chance of Nifty dashing to 9000 level in April series.

Meanwhile, there was a good cheer on the inflation front as wholesale inflation came in lower than expectations. WPI for March stood at negative 2.33 percent against negative 2.06 percent in February and an estimate of negative 2.07 percent. Food inflation fell to 6.3 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February despite unseasonal rain.

Tata Motors was the biggest contributor to Sensex’s fall, down 3 percent after Jaguar Land Rover reported disappointing sales in China. Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp were down 1.5-3 percent.

Private banks saw selling pressure in late trade. Axis Bank was down 2.7 percent and HDFC Bank slipped over 1 percent. ICICI Bank declined 0.5 percent while rival SBI gained 1.6 percent.

Technology stocks lost ground ahead of TCS earnings on Thursday evening. Infosys & TCS dropped 1 percent each, and Wipro slipped 2.7 percent. CNBC-TV18 poll expects a 0.6 percent fall in profit after tax and 0.2 percent rise in dollar revenue in Q4FY15 on sequential basis.

In the pharma space, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Cipla were down 1-3 percent. However, Aurobindo Pharma gained 0.7 percent on final approvals from the USFDA to manufacture and market Cefixime for oral suspension. Torrent Pharma gained 2.7 percent on tentative approval for Rosuvastatin calcium, the cholesterol drug and submission of non-binding bid for one of the companies of Encore Group.

ONGC gained 1.8 percent and Oil India rallied 4.5 percent as sources told CNBC-TV18 that the government exempted upstream companies from sharing Q4 under-recovery burden and will also exempt upstream oil companies from any burden sharing for LPG under direct benefit transfer for FY16.

Sesa Sterlite topped the buying list on Sensex, up 3.3 percent followed by ITC with over a percent upside.

The market breadth was slightly negative as about 1478 shares declined against 1388 shares advanced on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

In global markets, Shanghai fell more than 1 percent today after China Q1 GDP slowed to a 6-year low of 7 percent from 7.3 percent in Q4. Also monthly retail sales, industrial output and fixed asset investment data all missed analyst expectations. However, European markets like France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE gained 0.4-0.8 percent (at 16 hours IST) ahead of ECB meeting.

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