Sensex Drifts Lower Ahead Of F&O Expiry

( – Indian shares fell on Monday as investors exercised caution ahead of the expiry of March series derivative contracts on Thursday.

After rising nearly 125 points in early trade, the benchmark index BSE Sensex reversed direction to end the session down 69.06 points or 0.24 percent at 28,192.02.

With investors continuing to take profits at higher levels, the broader Nifty index also erased early gains to end down 20 points or 0.23 percent at 8,550.90. The Sensex and Nifty both hit their lowest levels in almost six weeks.

Jindal Steel & Power slumped 6.2 percent on a report the company has moved Delhi High Court against decision of the coal ministry rejecting its winning bids for three mines.

BHEL dropped 3.6 percent, extending last week’s losses, after the government announced plans to divest a 5 percent stake in the power-equipment major.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals tumbled 5 percent after the Delhi High Court restrained the company from manufacturing and marketing its anti-diabetes drug Zita and Zita-Met.

MT Educare plummeted 6.3 percent on news of land sale in Mangalore. Tyre maker MRF fell 3.6 percent after unveiling expansion plans.

Wipro lost a percent after it appointed former marketing chief Rajan Kohli as the head of its newly carved out business unit Wipro Digital. Bank of Baroda shed 1.9 percent after slashing deposit rates.

Binani Industries slid 0.9 percent after its U.S. arm sold its majority of the assets to Core Molding Technology, Inc thereby exiting from its composite business.

Shares of NTPC jumped 3 percent. The state-run power producer has fixed the coupon rate on the bonus debentures at 8.49 percent per annum payable annually. Tata Motors rose 0.8 percent ahead of a board meet on Wednesday to consider the terms of a rights issue.

Bharti Airtel advanced 1.1 percent. The telecom major partnered with Amazon Web Services to offer its cloud computing services to customers in India.

GMR Infrastructure rallied 3.4 percent on fund raising reports. Spicejet shares gained a percent after the budget carrier said it had reached an out of court settlement with an aircraft lessor over default on aircraft rentals.

Suzlon Energy gained 1.1 percent. The wind turbine maker received shareholders’ nod for the earlier announced sale of its German arm Senvion and issuance of up to 10 million equity shares on a preferential basis.

On the global front, the Asian markets ended mixed even as a rebound in crude prices Friday and a pause in the dollar’s recent rally helped to keep underlying sentiment positive.

European stocks slipped from a 7-1/2 year high ahead of the closely-watched meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at solving Greece’s debt crisis.

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