Sensex slips 114 points ahead of US Fed policy meeting outcome

MUMBAI: After rising over 70 points in initial trade, the benchmark Sensex today fell back to close over 114 points down at 28,622.12 on caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement.

While the Fed is not expected to announce any hike in rates tonight, traders are keeping a close eye on what the central bank has to say about its near-term plans after a recent mixed bag of economic data. Consequently, market participants did not create any fresh positions, say brokers.

The Sensex, which commenced the day on a better note at 28,766.87, rose further to touch the day’s high of 28,806.97.

However, emergence of profit-booking at improved levels dragged down the 30-share index to a low of 28,546.76 and closed at 28,622.12, down 114.26 points, or 0.40 per cent.

Yesterday, global markets rose with the Sensex rallying 298.67 points on hopes US Fed will not act in hurry to affect the first interest rate increase in nearly nine years.

Shares of Tata Motors dropped by 2 per cent on profit-booking after the firm reported growth of 5 per cent in global sales, including Jaguar Land Rover, for February.

Other major losers which also pulled down the Sensex included NTPC, BHEL, Wipro, M&M, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, ITC, Hindalco, HUL, L&T, Bajaj Auto and Infosys.

Bucking the overall bearish trend, shares of RIL ended 1.39 per cent higher on reports of a brokerage upgrading the stock. Overall, 18 Sensex shares ended lower while 12 finished in the positive zone.

Sectorally, the BSE Power index fell the most by plunging 1.09 per cent, followed by IT (0.94 per cent), Teck (0.77 per cent), Capital Goods (0.72 per cent), Auto (0.63 per cent) and FMCG (0.59 per cent).

The 50-issue Nifty of the NSE also fell by 37.40 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 8,685.90. It shuttled between 8,747.25 and 8,664 during the session.

Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 265.52 crore yesterday.

Globally, other Asian bourses closed up on hopes of further measures to stimulate the Chinese economy while Europe opened better ahead of British government’s annual budget and the US Federal Reserve policy decision.

In currency markets, the dollar retreated as investors sat on the sidelines. In oil space, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery eased to USD 42.5 levels while Brent crude for May fell to USD 53.1 mark.

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