Sensex edges down in cautious trade; Sun Pharma rises

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex and Nifty edged down on Wednesday to their near six-week lows and were heading for a sixth straight session of falls, as caution ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives and the end of the fiscal year hit blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro(LART.NS).

Shares have retreated since hitting record highs early this month, as analysts warned about waning momentum and low trading volumes ahead of the end of the fiscal year at the end of March.

Caution also prevailed ahead of the monthly derivatives expiry due on Thursday, although broader losses were capped as Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (SUN.NS) rose after receiving final regulatory approvals for its merger with Ranbaxy Laboratories (RANB.NS).

Meanwhile, Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS) rose 0.9 percent after its board approved raising of 75 billion rupees through a rights issue.

“Volumes are low and people are not taking big bets. Overseas investors are also likely to reduce exposure and waiting for the next trigger,” said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.

“Markets are likely to trade range-bound for a week or so. We expect momentum in the second week of April only.”

The benchmark BSE Sensex was down 0.11 percent, while the broader Nifty was lower 0.14 percent.

Both the indexes hit their lowest level since Feb. 10.

Blue-chips fell with Larsen & Toubro down 2.1 percent and State Bank of India (SBI.NS) lower 1.4 percent.

Shares of IPCA Laboratories (IPCA.NS) fell as much as 13.6 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned most imports from two of the drugmaker’s production plants.

But among winners, Sun Pharmaceutical gained 2.4 percent, while Ranbaxy added 1.9 percent after a top official from Sun Pharma said the merger would deliver $ 250 million synergies in a year.

(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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