Sensex trades 77 points down; metal stocks plunge

Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip BSE Sensitive Index (Sensex), was trading down 77 points or 0.27 percent in the afternoon trade session Monday as metal, oil and gas and capital goods stocks plunged.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading flat in the afternoon trade session. It was down 29.75 points or 0.34 percent at 8,618 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,546.31 points, was trading at 28,426.33 points (12.30 p.m.) in the afternoon session, down 76.97 points or 0.27 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,503.30 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,581.82 points and a low of 28,402.71 points in the intra-day trade so far.

In Monday’s trade metal, oil and gas, capital goods, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and consumer durables stocks came under heavy selling pressure.

However, healthy buying was observed in information technology (IT), technology, entertainment and media (TECK) and realty sectors.

The S&P BSE metal index was down 129.85 points, followed by oil and gas index which was lower by 60.64 points, capital goods index declined by 60.42 points, FMCG index fell by 43.47 points and consumer durables index decreased by 41.79 points.

The S&P BSE IT index was up 102.55 points, TECK index gained 27.46 points and realty index rose 12.86 points.

Analysts said that the Indian market’s were cautious about the US Fed meet which is schedule to be held on March 17 and 18. This meeting will provide the trajectory of the US economy, which will also reveal as to when the rate hike might take place.

The meet also assumes significance as U.S. non-farm payrolls rose 295,000 jobs last month. This data might lead to an increase in US inflation which can make the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than previously expected.

With higher interest rates the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are expected to be led away from the emerging markets such as India.

“Investors across the world are concerned about the rate hike as it will bring an important change to the cost of liquidity. Hence until this transformation is initiated, volatility cannot be avoided across global equities and currencies,” said Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas.

The Indian equities markets’ continued there down turn on the back of the data on retail inflation for February showed a marginal increase from the previous month. This belied expectations of a rate cut next month.

The Reserve Bank of India is scheduled to announce its first bi-monthly policy review for 2015 on April 7.

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