Markets have extended losses and are trading near day’s low ahead of March F&O expiry weighed down by index heavyweight shares.
At 13:50PM, the 30-share Sensex was down 401 points at 27,711 and the 50-share Nifty was down 110 points at 8,421.
The top losers on the Sensex are HDFC, Infosys, Coal India, HDFC Bank and HUL, all plunging between 2-4%.
Updated at 13:05
Benchmark indices continue to trade lower weighed down by index heavyweight shares like HDFC and Infosys.
Further, sentiments are dampened after Saudi Arabia has carried out air strikes against Huthi rebels in Yemen today.
Also, traders have turned cautious ahead of the March F&O expiry due later during the day coupled with concerns over the fourth quarter earnings.
At 13:05PM, the 30-share Sensex was down 350 points at 27,762 and the 50-share Nifty was down 90 points at 8,441.
However, the broader markets are outperforming the benchmark indices- BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are down 0.4-0.7%.
Market breadth is weak with 1,458 losers and 838 gainers on the BSE.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 813.19 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 96.52 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
In the currency front, rupee depreciated against the US dollar and was trading lower by 32 paise at 62.65 compared to the previous close of 62.33 because of renewed demand for the greenback from banks and importers.
Asian shares slipped on Thursday as tech-driven losses on Wall Street and escalating tensions in the Middle East provided a tailwind for oil prices and the safe haven yen.
Risk appetite took a knock from news Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies had launched air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters who have tightened their grip on the southern city of Aden.
The potential threat to oil supplies from the Gulf was enough to boost U.S. crude $ 1.81 to $ 51.02, while Brent crude climbed $ 1.56 to $ 58.04 a barrel.
The dollar broke down to a one-month trough on the yen around 118.94, while yields on 10-year US Treasuries ticked down to 1.91%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.8%. Australia’s main index shed 1.4%, while the Nikkei lost 1.6 percent in its biggest daily decline since mid-January. Chinese markets, as so often, went their own way and Shanghai rose 0.5%.
SECTORS & BUZZING STOCKS
BSE IT, Metal, Healthcare and Bankex indices have slumped over 1% each. However, sectors like Capital Goods, Power and Oil & Gas are trading marginally in positive zone.
HDFC is the top Sensex losers, down over 4%. The company has fixed March 26, 2015 as the record date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend, if approved by the board. The board of directors of the company at its meeting held on March 19, 2015, inter alia, has approved the payment of an interim dividend of Rs. 2 per equity share of face value of Rs 2 each of the corporation, for the financial year 2014-15.
ICICI Bank has slipped nearly 2%. The Ministry of announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Army and ICICI Bank on the Defence Salary Package.
NTPC has slipped around 1%. The Ministry of Coal has announced re-allotment of five coal mines namely, Chatti-Bariatu, Chatti-Bariatu(South), Kerandari, Dulanga and Talaipalli to the company.
Other notable losers are Infosys, Coal India, Sesa Sterlite, HDFC Bank, HUL and Wipro.
On the gaining side, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Hero Moto and GAIL have risen between 0.4-2%.
Gail (India) is up 0.6% and Gujarat State Petronet (GSPL) has surged 5% on reports that the government will be allowed these companies to import gas on spot basis. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the import liquified natural gas for supply to gas-based power plants stranded due to a shortfall in the production of domestic natural gas in the country.
Bharti Airtel is up 1.5% as the spectrum auction came to an end on Wednesday. Idea Cellular was up 2% and Reliance communications was up 0.5%.
Among other shares, Gayatri Projects has moved higher by 3% at Rs 145 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) after the company announced that it has bagged new order worth of Rs 175 crore from Hyderabad Growth Corridor Limited.