Sensex falls as investors turn focus on assembly polls

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Bombay Stock Exchange

Mumbai– Investors deferred equity purchases on Friday, shrugging off a rebound in the rupee and a decline in global crude oil prices, as they turned their focus on key assembly elections for cues.

As a result, key equity indices ended slightly lower after a lacklustre trade on Friday.

Also weighing on sentiment was the fact that all the Asian markets closed the day with losses, an analyst said.

The Sensex settled 79.13 points lower at 35,158.55. It had opened at 35,258.13 from its previous close of 35,237.68. It touched an intra-day high of 35,287.29 and a low of 35,011.23.

The NSE Nifty closed 15 points lower at 10,582.90.

“Technically, the short-term trend for the Nifty is choppy at the key resistance of 10,600 level. There is a possibility of continuation of this rangebound movement in the early part of next week as well. A slight weakness may also be expected,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani said.

“After this phase of consolidation/minor correction, the Nifty is expected to continue its upside momentum. Immediate supports to be watched are at 10,417-480 levels. On upsides, a breach of 10,616 could result in a move towards 10,710.”

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram go to assembly polls this month and the next. The BJP rules in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, and a return to power in these states will bolster Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of winning next year’s general election.

European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40, too, were trading in the red.

The rupee climbed 51 paise to end the day’s trade at 72.49 per US dollar, prompting investors to sell export-dependent stocks. The S&P BSE IT fell 1.19 per cent.

Metals, realty and energy counters also came under a heavy selling pressure. However, the financials managed to cling on to their gains.

The benchmark Brent crude slipped below the $70 a barrel mark.

India imports nearly 80 per cent of its crude oil requirements, and a rise in prices threatens to widen the current account deficit, fanning inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The broader markets like the S&P BSE MidCap index gained 0.66 per cent, while the S&P BSE SmallCap index rose 0.58 per cent.

The market breadth was positive, with an advances to declines ratio of 1.22.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 614.14 crore on Friday, while the domestic institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 337.28 crore.

The top gainers on the BSE were led by Yes Bank, up 5.49 per cent at Rs 227.85; Adani Paints, up 3.79 per cent at Rs 1,298.20; Adani Ports, up 3.14 per cent at Rs 336.85; Sun Pharma, up 2.32 per cent at Rs 595.90; and Hero Moto Corp, up 2.08 per cent at Rs 2950.05 a share.

The major laggards on the Sensex included TCS and Reliance Industries, which fell 1.70 per cent and 1.55 per cent, respectively. TCS closed at Rs 1,909.80 apiece while Reliance Industries settled at 1,093.35 per share.

Others losers included State Bank of India, down 1.27 per cent at Rs 283, Infosys down 2.15 per cent at Rs 661.45 and Bharti Airtel down 2.45 at Rs 298.45 apeice. (IANS)

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