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Oil, global cues drag Sensex 321 pts; Rail Budget, expiry eyed


Moneycontrol Bureau

Bears continued to control bulls as the Sensex crashed more than 300 points for second consecutive session on Wednesday. Fall in global markets on oil rout dampened sentiment again. Railway Budget and expiry of February derivative contracts will be closely watched on Thursday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex dropped 321.25 points or 1.37 percent to 23088.93 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 90.85 points or 1.28 percent to 7018.70.

Market is expected to be bearish for coming few months, says market expert Deepak Shenoy, adding that budget expectations have put off buying and recommends going short position till Union Budget.

Ashwini Gujral of ashwinigujral.com says the Nifty could see 6300-6400 level on back of global volatility irrespective of Budget expectations.

The broader markets were also under pressure with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices falling 0.8 percent and 1.15 percent, respectively. More than two shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

On the global front, European equities were trading lower on steep fall in oil prices after comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister. France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE declined 1-2 percent (at 16 hours IST). Asian markets closed mixed with Shanghai rising 0.9 percent while Nikkei and Hang Seng were down around a percent.

Oil fell below USD 33 per barrel after Saudi Arabia ruled out production cuts and an industry report said US crude stockpiles hit a record, underlining the supply glut. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said production cuts would not happen although more countries would join a deal to freeze output. International benchmarks Brent crude slipped 2 percent to USD 32.57 a barrel and WTI crude declined 3.2 percent to USD 30.84 a barrel.

On home turf, banking & financials led the fall again with the Bank Nifty down 1.5 percent. ICICI Bank and HDFC were down over 2.6 percent followed by HDFC Bank (down 2 percent) and SBI (down 1 percent) while Axis Bank rebounded in late trade, up 0.4 percent.

ITC battered for third consecutive session today, down 2.4 percent on fears of hike in excise duties in Union Budget. NTPC fell again due to dilution in two-day offer for sale issue that closed today; the government aimed to sell 5 percent stake in power generation company, which is a part of divestment.

Tata Motors tanked 3.6 percent on illegal strike by around 300 workers at Sanand plant in Gujarat.

Oil retailer BPCL rallied more than 4 percent on sharp fall in crude oil prices. Infosys closed marginally higher as the IT major has reappointed Vishal Sikka as CEO & MD for another five years.

Among others, BHEL topped selling list on Sensex, down 5 percent. TCS, Sun Pharma, L&T, ONGC, Tata Steel, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Hindalco were down 1.5-3 percent while Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, M&M and HUL gained 0.2-1 percent.

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